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 The school buildings are not only outdated and over-capacity, but also falling apart.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.