Please help our students and community by showing your support for the school district’s Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) building project at the high school by attending your Town Meeting and voting to approve the warrant articles approving the revised regional agreement, and your town’s share of the cost of a $2 million feasibility study for the building project.
We are writing to urge you to support two warrant articles that will be voted on at our upcoming annual town meetings this spring: Vote at Town Meeting to approve the revised regional high school agreement and vote to authorize the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) School Committee to borrow $2 million for a feasibility study for a building project at the high school. The passage of these two articles is a pivotal and sequential next step in the MSBA program. After seven years of applying, on March 2, 2022, the high school was accepted into the MSBA’s grant program, and is now poised to receive reimbursement through the MSBA program of 38 percent of the cost of renovating and upgrading our 64-year-old high school facility, calculated on a cost-per-square-foot basis.
Why is this important?
- The regional agreement has not been substantively updated since it was first created in 1954, and much of the language is outdated, and needs to be corrected in order to make it comply with current Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) standards.
- Many hours of hard work by selectpersons and officials from your town have been spent crafting the capital assessment formula for this one building project that is part of the revised regional agreement. The new funding formula they created is based on fairness and equity, with the revised percentages for each town based on 70 percent student population and 30 percent equalized property valuations.
- The revised percentages would remain fixed for the life of the building project. The mobilization of all six towns to hammer out this revised capital formula is an important indication that our island leadership is invested in this project’s success.
- The $2 million cost for the feasibility study is reimbursable by the MSBA, but only if the community acts now to move the project forward.
- The window to obtain and use MSBA funds is limited in time, and the opportunity will be withdrawn by the MSBA if we postpone the project. This gives us no better opportunity than now to move forward as a community on a design for a building project.
- Both Town Meeting warrant articles need to pass in order for the high school to continue on in the MSBA program and receive the MSBA funds.
Please remember to show your support for the revised regional agreement and for funding a $2 million feasibility study for a building project at the high school by voting at Town Meeting to approve these two measures.
Signed by members of the MVRHS School Building Committee
Dion Alley, Oak Bluffs
Matt Coffey, West Tisbury
Warren Doty, Chilmark
Luciana Fuller, Oak Bluffs
Emma Green-Beach, Oak Bluffs
Amira Madison, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)
James Mahoney, Aquinnah
Terry Meinelt, Chilmark
Tracy Overbeck-Stead, Vineyard Haven
Sally Rizzo, Vineyard Haven
Grace Robison, Oak Bluffs
Art Smadbeck, Edgartown