HomeNewsSpecial Town Meeting scheduled for Elmwood School Vote

Special Town Meeting scheduled for Elmwood School Vote

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Today, the Hopkinton Select Board announced a Special Town Meeting to be held at 7:00 PM on Monday, November 13, 2023.

The deadline to submit articles or petitions proposed to be included in the special town meeting warrant must be received at the Select Board/Town Manager’s office no later than 4:30 PM on October 18, 2023, and can be submitted to: Select Board, Town Hall, 18 Main Street, Hopkinton, MA 01748 or by email to elainel@hopkintonma.gov.

While other warrant items may appear, the ostensible purpose of this meeting is for voters to take action on the proposed Elmwood School replacement plan, a $158 million project endorsed by both the School Committee and Select Board.

The existing Elmwood school was built to house 650 students. Today it holds 626, but State demographers estimate this will grow to 774 students by 2032.

If the project is approved at Special Town Meeting, a ballot measure will appear in a subsequent special election, which will ask voters to authorize the town to raise the funding.

Expanded coverage of this issue is below.

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  1. State Demographers have never been right, neither were the experts that told us that Legacy would not cause any significant impact to the schools, neither were the experts that designed the new Main St. debacle. All these expensive studies are batting a zero and until we get our moneys worth with accurate information and designs, I’m a no.

  2. I am not against a school building project, however I cannot support the project as proposed. A more fiscally responsible project would be a grade 2-3 replacement, and not the enormous 1100+ student school which some have said would be the largest elementary school in Massachusetts.  Is this really what is best for our students?  In addition, building another school on Hayden Rowe will make an already challenging traffic situation exponentially worse.  This is common sense and no amount of traffic reconfiguring will alleviate that.  On top of that, when are we going to see the exact financial impact on taxpayers?  I thought the Select Board chair asked for updated information regarding the cost of this borrowing (and how it fits in to the overall town finances) in August prior to the vote to endorse the project?  There are MANY folks in town that simply cannot afford the proposed $1000+ annual tax increase, not just seniors. We must also consider that the school department has an ask of 40M+ for a Hopkins renovation project coming on the tails of this one in 2024. Please attend Special Town Meeting in November, and please keep ALL town residents in mind when you vote.

  3. Ashland just completed a new elementary school for approximately $82 million. Why does Hopkinton need to spend $158 million? Thats more than double.

    A new school may be completely necessary but the cost of this one is outrageous.

    • $82 Million X 2 = $164 Million which is less than $158 Million.

      Math is why we need good schools.

      I do agree that this project seems a little bloated though.

  4. The estimates of this project were due at the end of September. What are they? How can we schedule a STM meeting without taxpayers knowing exactly how much this campus extension will cost and exactly how much our taxes will increase? There are scare tactics already floating about our children having to eat lunch at 9:30 a.m. if this doesn’t pass. I’m not buying it. It is a waste of our money to have STM without all of the information. Spend a few more years showing us a better solution than the most expensive 3 grade school in the state. Putting a new building on a street that sees the worst gridlock in town during a.m. & p.m. school traffic on Hayden Rowe is a No for me.

    • Updating the first 3 lines above to reflect my errors;
      1.The estimate of MSBA reimbursement was due at the end of Sept. and was addressed at the ESBC meeting. 2.&3. The final numbers, including the approx. $1k tax per family peaking @2018 are complete.
      We will have our presentation @STM because the information IS available.

      My vote remains ‘No’ regarding the traffic, cost, carbon footprint, etc. We were just voted the #1 school district. It’s not about a building. We can have an updated school that taxpayers can afford, and will support a wonderful learning environment for our teachers & learners.

      • If my understanding is correct, we won’t have any new school funding from the state for several more years if we vote this down. Meaning our kids are stuck with what we have for years.

        We also have an overcrowded middle school. Buildings do matter. Do you really think the learning environment will stay wonderful and we’ll attract/retain teachers under overcrowded conditions forever? My children recently went through the middle school. It’s ridiculously crowded, which would be addressed by the current proposal by moving sixth grade out and not doing a huge middle school project as well as an elementary school.

        I understand the financial concern, but am not as optimistic as you that there’s some way to continue the status quo or come up with some wonderful cheap fix.

  5. So, Legacy Farms will not increase school enrollment. Remember that? Folks won’t move into two bedroom apartments with kids. Ever heard of bunk beds?

    The whole Legacy Farms deal was a fiasco. The town had to buy the land outright while the builder was allowed to do all sorts of financial stuff.

    And then the town moderator gives the owner of Weston Nurseries as long as he wants to plead his case when there was supposed to be a time limit.

    Legacy Farms and the apartments behind 110 Grill are fine if that’s what the town wanted and/or was legally allowed. The whole way this stuff was proposed was full of untruths.

    Penny wise, pound foolish. Believing what a builder tells you, nuts.

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