Many locals expressed concerns at HLWW meeting

September 22, 2008

By Caroline Wigmore
Staff Writer

Local residents were given the chance to ask questions and voice their opinions about the future of the middle school at the community meeting at the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School.

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The board decided that the $7.1 million renovations needed at the current HLWW middle school would be an unwise investment, leaving voters with the option of building a new middle school or doing nothing to update the current middle school and making repairs as needed.

If the bond does not pass on Nov. 4, and the middle school’s operating systems break down, there will be no choice but to sink funds into the middle school as problems arise.

The public questioned how urgent the repairs at the middle school truly were and the board explained that the outdated boiler could go out at any time, leaving the school without heat.

“If the boiler went out, we would have no place to go,” board member Dan Schaible said.

Superintendent George Ladd explained that the school’s boiler inspectors continue to be impressed that the boiler hasn’t gone out already, calling it “the Mayflower,” because of its age, and telling the district that it should have blown out 30 years ago.

Locals asked about the basic logistics of how the new middle school would function as an addition to the current high school, and if there would be overlap between the high school and middle school students.

The board explained that the new middle school, which would be an addition to the current high school, would share an entrance with the high school, but that classes would take place on separate ends of the school, with the exception of a few classes such as art, where classrooms would be shared. The lunchroom would be shared with the high school, but lunch periods would be different, preventing almost all overlap of students between the middle school and high school.

Ladd asked the public, “How much money do we sink into a sinking ship?” referring to the age of the middle school building and its systems.

Do you know more about this subject, or have a comment? E-mail: news@heraldjournal.com