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Opinion: Mount Abraham project well worth the investment

If I told you that you could invest in the future, the fabric and infrastructure of your community for less than $1 that would interest you. If I told you that you could entice potential homebuyers to purchase property in our towns and invest their time, energy, and money here in our community that would interest you. If I told you that you could have a place that students, parents and community members are proud of and other communities were envious of for less than $1 that would interest you. If I told you that you could create an inspiring space that improved student and staff moral and could show improvements in student achievement, mental health and behavior for less than $1 that would interest you.
I really hope that I have your interest. As a community we are in a position of opportunity. We have the chance to create our own future. I have heard people talk for years in this community about the state of the Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School building. About the lack of air quality, the darkness, lack of windows and natural light, the poorly laid out lobby, the lack of a gymnasium for the middle school, the dilapidated furniture. It is time to stop talking. It is time to act.
I have been working with many dedicated individuals from the Five Towns over that last 3 years to bring this renovation project forward. There have been professional studies, presentations, surveys, community forums, interviews with stakeholders, tours of the building, websites created and more in an effort to create the vision that the Five Towns hold for the next 50-plus years of students, community members, youth groups and visitors who use our building.
This project answers and solves so many needs for our students, teachers and community. Needs that you have all expressed many times over. Improved safety, better learning environments, access to technology, space for creating, space for physical education and sport, space that will allow community members and groups that want use and access it after hours the ability to do so. A much more defined and separate middle school area will be a result of this project. Handicap accessibility, new furniture, upgrades to IT infrastructure, new lighting in and out of the building, renovated air quality systems and heating and cooling delivery. This plan is addressing all of the needs at once in an effort to be efficient and cost effective both now and in the future.
I live in Bristol and have three sons who have had nothing but great experiences in our public schools. I am proud of my community and tell everyone I can that Bristol and the Five Town area is the greatest place on the earth to live. Our sense of community, caring for each other, and pride in our work and place in the environment is evident to people who visit and know us. Our current educational building for our 7-12th graders does not match what the rest of our community has to offer. We can do better.
Less than $1 a day is what this bond could impact most people’s taxes. Many people will pay much less due to income sensitivity in our tax structure. The rate goes down every single year as it is paid. It is very rare that you can see the impact of every single tax dollar you spend. In this case you will see it in your community, used every single day, to do all the things I stated above. Quite a return on your investment. I encourage you to come and take a tour of the building, get the information, ask the questions you need answered. The needs will not go away until we take action. I am ready to act. I hope you will join me.
The time is now.
Troy Paradee
Bristol Community Member

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