On May 2, Amherst voters will decide on a Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion for a new elementary school to be located at the Fort River site, which will replace both the Wildwood and Fort River elementary schools.
I am super excited for this school building project! The thing that excites me the most is that this will be Amherst’s first net-zero municipal building. With geothermal wells for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, as well as solar panels on the roof and parking lot canopies, this will be the first Amherst town building to NOT rely on fossil fuels! What a great model we are setting for our students – showing them that we invest in what we care about.
(Jennifer Shiao, Rudy Perkins, Bruce Coldham, and Cathy Schoen, canvassing for Vote Yes on April 23.)
Another thing that I’m excited about is that this building, and the fields and grounds around it, will be a community resource. From the cafetorium (combination cafeteria and auditorium) and gymnasium to the athletic fields (which are supported with Community Preservation Act funding), non-school organizations will benefit from the new school.
Lastly, the grade configuration of this new school keeps our kindergarten through 5th grade students in one building (Crocker Farm will also house K-5 students). Sixth graders will attend school at the Amherst Regional Middle School.
Voting yes on this project on May 2 means that our students and staff will have improved learning and working conditions, and will show how much this community values education.