Letter to the editor: Delaying Mt. Abe project would cost taxpayers more

There will be a bond vote on the Mount Abraham Renovation Project this Thursday, Nov. 2.
As a lifelong resident of Bristol and even with no children in the school system, I support this proposal, and I will try to explain why.
The roof on your house needs replacing and the estimate is $10,000 today. You say you can’t afford this estimate at this time, so in a year you receive another estimate for your new roof and it is $10,500, and the following year it is $11,000. You have not fixed your roof, yet the costs escalate by 5 percent +/- per year.
Now take this same scenario with a $35 million price tag and put it off for a year and the cost is now $36,750,000 — an increase of $1,750,000. You tell me when do we address these needs of a 50-year-old facility?
Last winter, the entire gym floor and a portion of the girls’ locker room floor was replaced for around $250K. There was no putting this project on hold until a future date. What is the next thing to go that needs addressing immediately and at what cost?
I understand numbers, but I do not understand the facility needs. We have engaged the professionals/experts that are telling us what the facility needs and I respect their input.
You say it is still too expensive a project. I understand that, but it isn’t going to get any cheaper by putting it off. What I do understand it will cost me $87.60 per $100,000 of assessed value on my home for this bond.
I also understand it is best to address all shortcomings for this facility at once and not by small pieces. This would be more cost effective. There are no large ticket items that can be eliminated without gaining more costs in another area.
Take a long look at some of these issues and tell me where we can eliminate some projects to reduce the overall costs: improved accessibility, increased natural light, second gym, auditorium upgrade, modern library, energy efficiency, new locker rooms, eliminate pass-through classrooms, improved lobby and security, vehicle traffic flow improvements, athletic field upgrades, building code improvements, new efficient lighting, infrastructure upgrades, sprinkler system, pool pump and HVAC upgrades, metal and wood shop upgrades, and new doors and windows, just to name some of the projects.
You and I cannot sit at home and determine what needs to be done or what should be eliminated. You need to attend these community forums where they are discussing these issues and ask your questions. Do not just vote “no” because of costs. Make your vote an informed vote.
Ron LaRose, Bristol

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