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Letter: Support the Nevis School referendum

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On Nov. 6, 2012, the voters of the District will be asked to approve a building bond referendum, which would provide the funds needed to correct several major building deficiencies presently found in our school building. The Board of Education of the Nevis Public School has unanimously approved these construction projects, and feels it is the responsibility of this Board to explain to our community the reasons for this decision.

The existing Early Childhood building is an old house with two additions located approximately 200 feet from the main building. Being a separate facility, students and staff do not have immediate access to medical services, food services and administrative and secretarial support. The District was fortunate in receiving a matching grant of $500,000 to assist in the construction of this addition.

The proposal also includes the replacement of the two temporaries with permanent classrooms. The existing temporary classrooms have served this District well for over ten years, but have outlived their usefulness and need to be replaced. These temporary classrooms are difficult and expensive to maintain and operate. We estimate that the increased utility costs of these classrooms are $3,200 per year, an expense that the District would not have if they were a part of the main building.

The existing boys' locker room is not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and needs to become handicapped accessible. The existing locker rooms are currently accessible by a very steep 15-step stairwell, which over the years has led to several serious injuries, one almost fatal.

The idea of remodeling the existing band room into an accessible locker room makes sense due to its location next to the main gym. A new band room would then be constructed next to the existing choir room, creating a centralized music center with easy access for the elementary students and a reduction in hallway congestion.

The second ballot question involves the construction of a connecting hallway between the main high school wing and the Tiger Arena and media center. The hallway would solve a major student congestion problem and provide another exit route in case of a school emergency. The existing wood shop would be expanded to provide adequate space for students and the shop equipment.

In making a decision to submit this proposal to the public, the board was acutely aware of extremely low interest rates combined with very competitive construction pricing. As noted in a recent meeting, "it's time."

Your support on Nov. 6 is needed as we solve the existing deficiencies of our building. A combination of an outstanding construction plan, competitive construction costs, fifty-year low interest rates and a $500,000.00 construction grant makes this the most opportune time for preparing this school district for the next 100 years of academic excellence.

Board of Education

Nevis Public School

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