After months of debate, voters in Rocky Hill will be able to determine if the should be renovated as new and possibly start to bring closure to an issue that has been years in the making.
On April 12, the Town Council and expand the 30-year-old school by 11,700 square feet to the voters. The state is expected to reimburse the town about 44 percent of the project's costs, leaving taxpayers here to pay the remaining $28.55 million.
The issue of renovating the high school caused Rocky Hill residents to decide where they stood on accreditation, raising taxes and itself.
Those in support of the project are being led by the political action committee “,” whose mission is to garner enough support from residents to pass any referendum question that keeps the high school accredited and addresses the
“The concern was palpable, with the and others outright indignant at the state of the school,” said Chairman Todd Cusano in a previous . “Stay Accredited was born out of that meeting, and a desire to restore pride into our school, and ultimately our community.”
, and people without children have been leading the charge against the project.
“Large increases in taxes are a hardship on everyone, but especially our senior population living on a fixed income," said senior Rich Laria in a previous letter to editor.
On Rocky Hill Patch, articles on the referendum have garnered a large number of comments and created debate and discussion among users.
However, those in support of the project have stated that renovating the high school should not be an issue of seniors versus students. School officials have stated that the high school is the most widely used building in town and several of the groups that hold events and meetings there are not affiliated with the school.
This is not the first attempt for a school referendum to be passed in recent years. In 2008, a referendum on the long-range school facilities plan, which included three smaller elementary schools with all-day kindergarten, was proposed, but it failed.
In 2010, another referendum plan with only two elementary schools and no all-day kindergarten was proposed. However, many residents felt it was too expensive and not enough information on the project was sent out to the public. Once again the referendum was voted down and this time by a more than two to one margin.
The issue of renovating the building became more serious for several parents and administrators when the high school was . Many people have stated that they are worried about the possibly of the school losing accreditation and being placed on probation, which would make it the only school in the state on that list.
If the high school was placed on probation, have said it would decrease property values in town, the stated it could and administrators feel it could hurt students’ chances of getting into colleges.
On the other side of the argument, opposing groups have said that none of these problems will occur and have stated those people in support of the project have used "fear tactics" to get the referendum passed.
In the end, the voters have the chance to voice their opinion when they head to the polling places on Tuesday. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Residents can vote at one of the following three locations, according to your district.
- District 1 -
- District 2 -
- District 3 -
Residents must be registered by noon on Monday if they want to vote on the referendum. All absentee ballots have to be filled out by Monday by noon.
will have updates throughout the day on Tuesday and will have the results after the final votes are tallied.