Hollis Brookline High school needs expansion to keep NEASC accreditation

To the Editor-

Brookline and Hollis have an important decision to make on Wednesday, March 26, at what I hope will be our final meeting for the co-op this year.

I attended the public hearing for the bond back in February, prepared to say “no, we cannot afford this right now.” I came away from the meeting convinced that we must at least spend the money for the school expansion, and if I thought it could pass, I would advocate for the new turf field as well, as that is the most cost-effective way to achieve our goals.

We must make this decision based on the facts, and the facts clearly show that the expansion is needed to maintain NEASC accreditation and the high level of performance we have come to expect from our high school.

The school administration, faculty, staff, School Board and the students and parents themselves are to be commended for achieving such impressive results by making do with the consequences of decisions we have made as a co-op for the past few years.

It is time for us to support that incredible effort with a building that reflects our commitment to a high-quality education, and that will meet the needs of the co-op for the medium term.

We must make these decisions based on the facts, not on emotionalism and misinformation. I strongly urge those with questions to go to www.sau41.org, the official website and find the supporting data there.

We must not tie this decision to an ill-advised attempt to change the rules midstream. I urge support of the bond and rejection of the petition articles that are designed to divide us, delay action and obstruct the process that has worked for both towns. There is a commitment from the Co-Op Board to address apportionment, and I do not support changing that process in favor of a heated and rushed process at the co-op meeting.

If you believe that your taxes are too high, then you can support Article 2 with the knowledge that it will not raise your taxes, as it is taking the place of a larger retiring bond. We cannot cut our way out of our tax burden without seriously impacting the quality of services we receive. There are things we can do, but those are long term, they are not simple, and they require effort and commitment on our part.

The right solution is seldom easy, and I urge you to treat those who tell you this is a simple question of lowering taxes with no consequences with great suspicion.

KEITH F. THOMPSON

Brookline