A good plan at a critical moment

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To the Editor:

I am very much in favor of the proposed renovation and additions to the Tisbury School.

The Tisbury School is more than our only school; it’s also a hub for community activities and events. We hold our town meetings there, and its playgrounds are a neighborhood resource. The original structure, facing West William Street, is an elegant and well-built building that enhances the ambiance of the surrounding West William Street neighborhood.

On the other hand, the Spring Street side of the building leaves much to be desired. The street, one of the town’s main corridors, has a narrow sidewalk facing the school, and none on the other side, taking you (and the children) along a painted “green mile” through a parking lot and past the service entry to the boiler room — very much a back-door approach. And if you are headed for a town meeting, you will have to climb that Himalayan stairway to get there. As for handicapped access, well, it’s over on the other side somewhere.

The plans for expanding the school take all that into account; preserving the West William side of the grounds and focusing on the Spring Street side to create the necessary expansions. Along with the addition of important new resources for the school, these changes provide for safe streets and sidewalks, clear and welcoming entries to the school, proper handicapped access, a great variety of spaces for community needs, and some very beautiful and creative playground facilities.

Of course, there are always areas of concern, and improvements can still be made, but this is a very good plan, and this is a critical moment. I hope the town will vote to approve the funding for this proposal, and after that, we can all work together to see it completed.

Henry Stephenson
Vineyard Haven