The current FHS building is outdated, inefficient, unsafe, costly to maintain, and disruptive to teaching and learning.
Failure to address the deficiencies of the current FHS facility will not only be detrimental to our students (violating a promise we made to provide them with the “knowledge, skills and dispositions needed for productive, ethical and responsible citizenship in an evolving world”*), but it will have serious consequences for our town as well.
A community that does not invest in itself is one that cannot last. Many people choose to live in Farmington for the good schools and low taxes. If we continue to let our high school fail, our whole education system will fail too. People looking to move to Farmington may rethink that decision if they see a community that doesn’t value its high school. Watch the statement by CJ Thomas, Town Council Chair (starting at 1:04:14 of the video).
We are currently on warning status to lose NEASC accreditation as a direct result of the current FHS facility’s failings. A loss of NEASC accreditation, unfortunately a very real possibility, would be devastating. Towns that have lost accreditation have seen property values decrease, placing a higher strain on the tax base. Furthermore, towns that have lost high school accreditation have seen an exodus of families seeking a quality education elsewhere. Fewer people means fewer jobs, a smaller economy, and diminished opportunity.
We also risk being caught in a crisis. When the next public emergency arises, the high school building, which acts as the Town’s shelter, will be incapable of handling it.
The careful stewardship of our Town’s financial resources will be negated if we do not take action now.
As a town, we can afford to build a new high school. But we can’t afford not to.
*See the Farmington Public Schools Vision of the Global Citizen