My point is simply this: The building problems and environmental problems of the existing High School can probably be completely resolved for an investment of about $30 million to $40 million.
To the editor:
Not wanting to create any more division amongst ourselves, please allow me to offer this significant example about the fine new high school built in 2011 in the Boston suburb of Newton.
Despite being planned and designed by very knowledgeable architects, engineers and cost control consultants, that project resulted in massive unexpected cost overruns, the dismissal of the mayor, enormous taxpayer dissension and almost put this very affluent community into receivership. The demographics of Newton are quite the opposite of our own with a younger, wealthier population and many more households with school-age children.
The project, which took 10 years to complete, began as a $40 million renovation, grew to a $108 million new building and will end up costing taxpayers more than $190 million (a five-fold increase in cost). Newton will foot most of the bill, but the state kicked in about a quarter of the money. Newton Mayor Setti Warren admitted the costs bitterly divided residents, but said ultimately the community will benefit. Probably so, but at great expense that only the very wealthy taxpayers of Newton can afford, but that the moderate income residents of Bristol cannot.
My point is simply this: The building problems and environmental problems of the existing High School as described by the staff and students and hired consultants in previous issues of the Bristol Phoenix can probably be completely resolved for an investment of about $30 million to $40 million.
If you doubt that this is accurate, call for fixed price bids and to resolve the problems and renovate the existing school before putting us all on the spot to approve a $200 million dollar bond that includes a new $161 million school building that will undoubtedly raise our municipal taxes as well as our State taxes.