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Southwick -Tolland -Granville School Project Does Not Pass

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (WGGB) – The Southwick-Tolland-Granville School District will not be receiving renovations just yet.

While residents in Tolland and Granville voted in favor of the project, Southwick residents did not.  All three towns needed to have a majority yes vote for the project to pass.

In Tolland of 346 registered voters, 88 cast their ballot with 64 voting yes and 24 voting no.  In Granville of about 1,100 registered voters, 337 went to the polls with 217 voting yes and 120 voting no.  And in Southwick of 6,257 registered voters, 2,431 cast their ballot with 1,041 voting yes and 1,390 voting no.

Superintendent, Dr. John Barry, told abc40, “Obviously this is a disappointment. We will have to reassess where we go from here.” 

Now that the school district will not be receiving state funding, any repairs to the buildings will have to be dealt with by the towns themselves.

The condition of the buildings puts the district at risk of losing accreditation. They’re currently on probation.

Recently, the Massachusetts School Building Authority deemed the school district as one of the ‘neediest’ in the Commonwealth.  The school buildings are not only outdated and over-capacity, but also falling apart.

If the project had passed the state would have picked up 60% of the cost… that’s $42.7 million. The remaining $29.1 million would have been paid by taxpayers at a cost of about $464 for Southwick; $105 in Tolland, and $367 for Granville.

The total cost of all repairs to Southwick High School (40 years old), Powder Mill Middle School (57 years old), and Woodland Elementary (50 years old), was about $60 million. If the cost is calculated to the specifications and regulations of the MSBA, it would have come out to around $71.8 million.


  • Dave

    I’m just disappointed. While I’m single, live alone, and have no children; and still I’m almost paralyzed in disbelief that the children have been let down. We have a social obligation to provide great schools and great teachers for our young people. This building project was our chance to get aught back up and make things right again. It is only with a great education that students will become the knowledgeable, innovative, and creative citizenry our country so desperately needs to survive. Education is so much more than what is on the silly meaningless state tests. Kids need experiences in art, in technology, in music, sciences, and in computers; to build the necessary 21st century skills they will need to compete in a global economy and our country needs them to have to survive. The tests we feel obligated to teach to are only just such a small window into the knowledge and skills kids will need to help move our country forward. Where is the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates going to come from if we don’t have great schools? We have not only let down our children today, we have let down our country.

  • Uncle Teddy

    Hey Dave, What Planet Do You Spend Most of Your Time On?

  • Jennifer

    Great news! I’m sick and tired of most of my tax dollars going toward the school budget in the first place! I couldn’t be happier with the vote!

  • Dave

    My planet? Hmmm. I guess a planet where getting a 72 million dollar project done at a cost of less than 30 million (62% essentially for free) sounds like a really great deal that would be a mistake to let go. Oh well. We are going to end up doing most of it anyway eventually now spread out over years and years, and now we will end up paying 100% of it ourselves. Guess I come from a planet where foolish short sided voters with no sense of vision or innovation don’t live.

  • Foolish

    Dave,then you can pay my share since you seem to live on a planet with no bills to pay.Or maybe you can call Mr. Gates.

  • Nate

    Foolish obviously doesn’t haven’t a clue seeing how “his share” will now be 60% higher over the upcoming years since now that you and the rest of the town will have to bear the full burden. I have no stake in this other than I wanted to move back “home” eventually but now this didn’t go through I’ll move to another town that actually cares about the future of their school and house values which will most likely stay stagnant for years if they don’t drop in value. Dumb, dumb, dumb and all the more reason why Southwick needs more money for their school as they voters obviously need an education in common sense.

  • Dave jr.

    Nate-Dave,I will help you move to planet Mars.Seems like you need more of an education by reading your comment.

  • Southwickian

    Dave, that 62% of “free” money can just be added to the other $15 trillion that we owe. There is no such thing as “free” money, you socialist!

  • http://Gemp1944 Libdumb

    This is by no means final The Politicians will keep coming at you until they get their way. That is the way it has been in all towns in the area. They will concoct some extreme agenda that if you don’t pass it your kids will be failures in life and your property will be worthless. You talk about unscrupulous people. Just wait.

  • Educator for the Future

    Jennifer, and all other misinformed Southwick residents: Most of your tax dollars DO NOT go to the school budget. If they did, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place!!! GET EDUCATED!!!!

  • Dave

    Very interesting comments.

    To the Southwickian. They are going to end up spending it anyway, if not on us then on someone else. And those funds are state funds not federal funds, so it would not add to the 15 trillion as states are not allowed to run a deficit. And even if it did add to the 15 trillion, spending it on education is a far better option than spending it on unemployment and welfare benefits and prison costs, which will ultimately be the result if we don’t provide high quality education. And when those educated young people go out and start businesses of their own, hiring Americans, paying business and personal taxes with their employees also paying taxes; that’s when capitalism is once again proven to work.. In a capitalist society this is how bebt is managed. Why do companies like Apple, and so many others not build their products anymore in the USA? Because the skilled workforce and engineering talent, workers with drive, innovative spirit, and work ethic, that once made this country great are now gone. Education IS always a sound investment as the only way to manage national debt in the long run is to grow our economy and GDP to increase the tax base and shift the tide. Our country is never going to survive on the Walmart and retail jobs we are creating now, which only sell products from China and the rest of the third world ultimately just moving our American dollars off shore. We need young people who are brave enough and educated enough to go out and build the new business base in our country that will carry us not through the next 5 years, but through the next 50 to 100 years. These young people are NEVER to get the education they need in buildings that are falling down around them in schools that only teach to the test with no supplies and weak programs. This was our chance to turn the corner. Thanks for the socialist comment. Clearly you have absolutely no clue who I am. That comment is just funny. It will be interesting to see you try to sell your house some day in a town without a quality school system. Especially after the high school loses accreditation and those poor high school students are no longer eligible to attend half the colleges in the country because a diploma from a nonaccredited high school is meaningless. Good luck with that house sale. I will not be one of your potential buyers..

    To Dave Jr. I have 3 masters degrees and have had many successful ventures in my 44 years. Education is not a problem for me. What is a problem for me often is finding too many people, perhaps as yourself, who do not have the skills and vision, innovative spirit and work ethic to be of actual value to businesses as employees. I do welcome your help in the move to mars though. If there are other people living there as well, all I can see in that relocation is untapped business and investment opportunity.

    To Foolish. You are going to pay the price anyway eventually, now at 100% rather than 40%. If you are ever a customer of mine I would welcome this thinking. I’ll give you that special full price special.

    Thank you educator of the future… For pointing out what should be obvious to everyone. I was going to say it, but you did for me.

    Well said Nate.

    And to everyone that posted negatively. Thank you for illustrating my point so well that our kids need more than we are providing. This is a public forum and instead of listening and debating professionally, you have simply attacked me. I will add professionalism to my list of things people are clearly lacking, and my list of things young people need in their educational experiences to be successful, since it was clearly a skill not learned and mastered by several of the posters.