I write in favor of the Elmwood School Project. Having served on the previous school project committee where the town overwhelmingly voted in support of Hopkinton’s youngest learners, I understand the nuances of these building projects and why it is important to consider the long-term implications of rejecting this current proposal. As a father of exactly zero children who will ever step foot in this school, I understand there is more at stake than “will MY kids attend the new school?” or “will MY family personally benefit from this project?”
We ALL benefit. The project is expensive, and certainly no one actively seeks increased taxes. The cost is a combination of many things: Construction is expensive (even more so 2023) and the needs of an increasingly popular and high-achieving school district are at a breaking point.
Our town is faced with a choice; solve the problem in front of us now, or defer the project for 5-10 years. While rejecting the project now defers the immediate cost of a new school, it does not defer the need to mitigate the educational, overcrowding, and resourcing problems that a new school will alleviate.
A “No” vote for a new school does not mean “no taxpayer expenses will be required to solve the problems”. It means the tax burden to mitigate the problems rivals – or could exceed – the taxpayer burden of building our school now. A temporary solution creates well-documented problems and complications, and 5-10 years from now, our town will still need to replace Elmwood. Temporary solutions, which will cost tens of millions of dollars, become sunk, and the money will be unrecoverable.
Investing in education is a proven winning strategy in communities across Massachusetts and beyond. Building strong communities means building strong students, attracting strong educators, and being a destination for strong families like yours who give back to their community. Our families benefit from living in this nationally-recognized, strong and safe community, built on the shoulders of those who said YES to the high school, YES to Hopkins, and YES to the original Elmwood School, knowing that even if their kids would never see the inside of those schools, they were voting for Hopkinton’s future.
Hopkinton faces many challenges – infrastructure, education, cost of living, and growth – to name a few. The Elmwood School Project is addressing one of those problems; the educational and infrastructure concerns facing our young learners at Elmwood. I hope you will join me in continuing to vote YES for excellence in Hopkinton by saying YES to the Elmwood School Project.
Rob Nickerson, Hopkinton