Peter Demling: Can’t risk missing new Amherst school opportunity

Published: 03-31-2023 8:25 PM

Please make a plan now to vote “yes” on May 2 for the school building project. And please do so regardless of your feelings on the School Committee’s contract negotiations with the teachers union.

Risking our last shot at a desperately needed school building by coupling it to the timing of contract negotiations benefits no one. The educational and fiscal consequences if this vote doesn’t pass would be severe.

We would lose $40 million in state funding, not realize hundreds of thousands of dollars in operational savings to help preserve staff and services every year, and we’d immediately face an estimated cost of $80 million just to renovate Fort River and Wildwood schools and bring them up to code.

Our town is no stranger to local conflicts and there can be high levels of tension and anger. But this is a rare moment when we are called to set aside our differences and act together for a universal good: a safe, healthy and high-quality working and learning environment for staff and students for many years to come.

We can’t risk losing that. On May 2, please vote “yes.”

Peter Demling

Amherst School Committee

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