A huge thank you to the North Middlesex Regional High School Building Committee for the many hours and countless meetings spent working to find a solution to our high school's infrastructure issues. After assessing a wide range of options, the committee, comprised of town officials, school personnel and taxpayers from all three towns, selected an option that responsibly meets the educational needs of our students.

The building committee worked tirelessly to create a project proposal that provides the best possible long-term investment by making prudent decisions regarding educational needs, space and materials. Their efforts ensured current and future students will have an appropriate and effective educational environment now and long into the future. They designed flexible spaces that can serve multiple purposes, thus reducing needed square footage. They selected materials and systems that are durable, yet affordable, and that minimize the ongoing maintenance costs throughout the life of the building.

The NMRHS Building Committee has worked hard to earn the trust of our communities and to put forth a project that is in the best interest of the taxpayers of our three towns. Because of their diligence, the Building Committee was able to secure a grant for over $40 million from Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for this project.

Upon recommendation of the building committee, the North Middlesex Regional School Committee recently voted unanimously to move this project forward to Special Town Meetings. My hope is that the building committee's efforts have earned your trust and that you will find this project worthy of your support.

The taxpayer investment needed for this high school building project would result in an annual tax increase (per $100,000 of assessed home value) of $142/year in Pepperell, $159/year in Townsend and $143/year Ashby beginning in 2018. As an example, a home assessed at $200,000 in Townsend would see an additional $80 on each quarterly tax bill.

More detailed project information is available at www.nmhsproject.com or in binders at your local town library. Special Town Meetings are being held in all three towns to vote on this project: Pepperell on March 10, Townsend on March 11 and Ashby on March 15. Passing this project in all three towns is required to gain access to the $40 million grant.

SUSAN ROBBINS

Chair, North Middlesex School Committee