By now most voters have heard about our Torrington school referendum on November 3. It is our goal as a community to build a flagship school, one that will house of our seven through twelfth graders and become the center of our community.
You have heard many facts about this project. There will be hundreds of thousands in energy and maintenance savings, and potentially millions in savings in outplacement tuition. Building new is cheaper than making the repairs, and allows us to expand our educational pathways programs for our students, both college- bound and those heading straight into the workforce. The middle school will become our intermediate school, housing all fourth through sixth graders.
By now you know that when you see the $159M price tag on the referendum question, the actual cost to taxpayers is less than half that, at $74M, averaging less than $200 per year for most Torrington families.
What I hope to remind you about is about the heart of our community. Our community provides a diversity of students, a diversity of thoughts and a sense of resourcefulness that is greater than any community around ours.
I’m proud of Torrington- we educate students from all backgrounds, we welcome English language learners into our community, we care for homeless children and students facing all sorts of issues inside the walls of their home. Everyone is educated on an equal playing field and we work to make sure every student succeeds. Building a new high school/middle school helps us accomplish all of that.
Torrington is up against the ropes, and we are deciding what kind of community we want to be. Do we want to race to the bottom, constantly chipping away at our infrastructure until we have nothing to show for our tax dollars? Or do we want to invest in our kids and in our community and take a stand for our education system?
I hope you will join me in believing in our community, believing in our kids and believing in Torrington. Please vote Yes on November 3.
Keri Hoehne is a resident of Torrington.