A Special Town Meeting to discuss the FHS referendum question will take place on Monday, May 24th at 7:00 PM. You can join in-person at the FHS Auditorium or online via Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81838043739). Public comment will be accepted in-person first and then those participating via Zoom will have an opportunity to speak.
We’re asking our fellow Farmington residents to make their voices heard in support of the proposed new high school. We need to encourage others to get to the polls and vote YES at the referendum on Thursday, June 3.
Below are some suggested talking points if you’re not sure what to say.
Introduction[Name, street address] I’m voting YES on Thursday, June 3, and I encourage my fellow Farmington residents to join me in supporting a new high school.
Opening statement suggestions
The current high school is outdated, unsafe, and doesn’t support our students and teachers. As the administrators, teachers, and students have told us, the current FHS building is disruptive to teaching and learning.
Our current high school facility is unacceptable. We need to do better. We owe it to our students, our teachers, and our town.
Closing statement suggestions
I’m voting YES on Thursday, June 3 for a solution. For the right solution. A NO vote does not provide a solution or an answer. A NO vote is not free – the problems at the high school would continue and end up costing us more. A YES vote solves all the problems at once, and it does so in a cost-effective manner. Vote YES on Thursday, June 3.
We have an opportunity to fix all that’s wrong with the current high school facility. A new building is the comprehensive and cost-effective solution. Join me in voting YES on Thursday, June 3.
A new building supports our students, our teachers, and our town. It provides our students with the space and resources they need to be successful after graduation. A new building helps maintain property values and keeps Farmington a great place to live. Help support our community and join me in voting YES on Thursday, June 3.
Additional statement suggestions
Our community takes great pride in our public schools. The quality of a Farmington education is often one of the biggest reasons people choose to live here. And while our curriculum is superior, our current high school facility no longer supports our students and our teachers.
The proposed new FHS building is the right solution:
- Addresses ALL the problems with the current facility
- Allows our teachers to fully implement a 21st century curriculum
- Provides flexible spaces to adapt to changing needs and teaching and learning techniques
- Appropriately sized in a compact design with an efficient layout
- Plans for future enrollment growth
- The cost-effective solution that avoids wasting millions of dollars on Band-Aid repairs
Now is the time to build a new high school:
- Strategic Town planning allows us to take on a large project like the high school while also fully funding needed repairs at the other schools and regular capital improvement projects like roads.
- Retirement of old debt will greatly minimize the tax impact.
- Interest rates are low.
- The State will reimburse us over $26 million dollars.
- The problems with the current facility are severe, they’re causing daily disruption to students’ learning, and they will continue to get worse until we address them.
A new high school building benefits ALL of us in Farmington, not just our students:
- Helps maintain property values and keeps Farmington a desirable place to live.
- Provides opportunities to the public for cultural,educational, and athletic events in a fully accessible building.
- Serves as a safe, reliable emergency shelter for town residents.
If you’d like to mention any of the problems with the current facility, here’s a partial list:
- The building is not ADA compliant, with some sections completely inaccessible to those with mobility limitations – not just individuals with permanent disabilities but also those with temporary injuries.
- We are on warning status for losing NEASC accreditation as a direct result of the problems with the current facility.
- The roof leaks in hallways and classrooms.
- The heating, plumbing, and electrical systems are out of date and frequently fail.
- There’s not enough classroom, science lab, library/media center, or cafeteria space.
- The sprawling layout is inefficient and overcrowded.
- Security is compromised with 23 separate entrances.
- Parking, sightlines, and pedestrian access are challenging, limited and often unsafe.
- The auditorium is too small, is poorly configured, has bad acoustics, has broken and missing seats for which replacements are no longer available, and is unable to host community performances like those of the Farmington Symphony Orchestra.
- The gymnasium is not ADA compliant and is therefore unable to host state athletic competitions.
- The building is not energy efficient and causes wasteful spending in heating, cooling, and electricity.
- There is insufficient space for many programs, including robotics, which is held offsite
- There are no spaces for small-group instruction, forcing kids into the hallways for some classes.
- There are not enough athletic locker rooms, and we are out of compliance with Title IX regulations.