I am a senior citizen in the town of Ayer and I will be voting yes on Saturday, Nov. 17, for the Ayer-Shirley Regional High School renovation project. It is important to note that a whopping 70.25 percent of the cost of this project will be covered by the Massachusetts School Building Authority. The state of Massachusetts encourages and supports regionalization, and now is the optimal time to take advantage of this support. It will never be a better time.
This new regional school system of Ayer-Shirley needs a major renovation of the existing high school building in Ayer, which is more than 50 years old and has had no major improvements thus far. Our young people deserve a school in which they can feel pride, but, more importantly, the school is in danger of losing accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges if necessary improvements to the physical plant are not made.
A vibrant school system is the heart of a town; a place for local activities, entertainment, town meetings and functions as well as an emergency shelter. A renovated building will encourage parents to keep their students in the region rather than choicing out to other towns' schools. An attractive school setting revitalizes a town, encouraging business and real-estate development.
We are fortunate to have a dedicated staff of teachers and administrators as well as support staff and food service providers. The custodians work tirelessly to keep the old building clean and safe, but hard work can only go so far.
The students in town deserve a bright and inviting space in which to learn with state-of-the-art science labs and media center.
Schools are important to me long after my own children have grown. I hope they are important to you.
Please join me in voting yes on Saturday, Nov. 17. It only takes a minute and it means so much to our towns.