June 26, 2019
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Holden, Clifton and Eddington voters don’t want to consolidate district’s 3 schools

Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
RSU 63 Superintendent Susan Smith.

Voters in Holden, Clifton and Eddington want to keep their district’s three schools where they are.

Regional School Unit 63 asked voters Tuesday whether they favored consolidating the district’s two elementary schools and one middle school into one campus. Only 37 percent of voters supported the idea, according to Superintendent Susan Smith.

The question on the ballot for voters in the three towns was a nonbinding one meant to gather residents’ opinions. The district’s three schools serve students up through eighth grade. Currently, 122 students attend Eddington Elementary School, 142 students attend Holden Elementary School and 240 students attend Holbrook Middle School in Holden.

The RSU 63 board will meet soon to decide on the next steps to take following the public vote, Smith said. A choice to keep three separate school buildings would influence the district’s plans for building maintenance.

“We have funds in the 2019-20 budget to work with a consultant to develop a five-year maintenance plan,” she said.

The regional school unit has set aside $5,000 per school to consult with experts to be able to formulate a plan to maintain the aging elementary and middle school buildings, Smith said.

Voters in the three towns on Tuesday also approved the regional school unit’s budget for the upcoming school year along with a $248,000 school facilities bond. In addition, voters opted to continue approving the district’s school budget by referendum.

Voters passed all of those measures by a two-to-one margin, according to Smith.

The bond money will be used this summer for renovations at the three schools. The work will include roof repairs, heating system work and sidewalk improvements at Holbrook Middle School, which will account for most of the $248,000. The district plans roof and electrical system improvements at the two elementary schools.

 



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