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Author Topic: BFA Fairfax Renovation/Expansion Project By Mike and Martha Leech  (Read 1618 times)
Henry
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« on: September 14, 2017, 07:07:59 PM »

Marty Lee <martyinvt@gmail.com>

Hello Henry, We attended the meeting concerning the BFA renovation project on September 7 and recently saw Ken and Joanne McAvey's letter on your forum. We completely agree with their assessment and are very concerned about our townspeople being fully informed about this issue. I would be happy to register on your site, if you would like. My husband and I live on Nichols Rd. and have been Fairfax residents for 35 years. We had 2 children who graduated from BFA. I am attaching a letter that outlines our concerns and would appreciate it if you would consider posting it on your website. Thank you, Henry. Sincerely, Martha Leech
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vtgrandpa@yahoo.com
Today at 6:24 PM

BFA Fairfax Renovation/Expansion Project   
We completely agree with the sentiments expressed in Ken and Joanne McAvey’s recent letter regarding the Fairfax $16,000,000.00 school renovation/expansion project and bond vote intended to be held on October 10, 2017.

The scope of this project, and the $16 million price tag, is astronomical. As was mentioned in the McAvey’s letter, there is no breakout of costs on the 20-line item list. Furthermore, the list is not prioritized; a “new roof for the on the Middle/High School and add reinforcements” seems just as important to the planners as “redesigning the cafeteria with a courtyard and patio.” The breakout of costs should be made known to every taxpayer in Fairfax.

We want to stress that we are all for improvements or renovations that safeguard our students and support our students academically. Many of these renovation items reflect those goals such as modernizing the Science/STEM/Innovation Labs, accessibility upgrades for ADA compliance, and installing sprinkler systems. However, this 20-item list, which includes a 400-seat performing arts center, a new gymnasium, and new art room among many other items, exceeds reasonable expectations in both cost and scope.

Have competitive bids been procured? If not, then how can this $16 million figure be more than an estimate (the cost of which at the meeting we were assured would not be exceeded for the next 25 years. No one can guarantee such a claim). This cost needs to be further scrutinized before any vote can be intelligently made.

Furthermore, the flyer sent out in September is misleading in terms of cost and tax impact to residents. On the one hand it states, “there is no state aid available for school construction projects” and later states that “much of the costs of the project will be shared with other towns in VT.”

How was how the Fairfax community was informed of this project? We were told at the September meeting that flyers were put up at the Fairfax Post Office and local businesses. I heard that information was posted on the school’s facebook page. The first notice many (most?) Fairfax residents received about this was a flyer that was mailed to residents in September. This means a considerable number of residents, to whom this $16 million bond vote impacts considerably, were not informed of the 2 previous meetings held July 27, and August 19. Most of the neighbors we have talked to about this had no idea about these meetings and are unaware of the upcoming vote.

In sum, this renovation/expansion project at BFA Fairfax warrants greater scrutiny and discussion among Fairfax residents and should be vetted by the community, possibly at town meeting where more residents can be informed as to the extent of the plan and its cost.

It is essential to vote “NO” on October 10th so that we can have sufficient time for a cost analysis and community-wide input on this plan.
Mike and Martha Leech, Fairfax residents for 35 years
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Henry Raymond
dvallett
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2017, 11:03:53 AM »

We fully agree with every sentiment expressed in the Leech's excellent and articulate letter. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to pay attention and vote their conscience accordingly, especially those without children in the school who are directly affected but likely out of the loop.

Dave and Carol Vallett

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ohhman
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2017, 12:26:31 PM »

Excellent letter.  Bump!!
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mkr
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 07:15:54 PM »

A friend of my posted this and I agree this needs to be answered and not ignored.

"Now there is a video about the $16 million renovation project at BFA Fairfax. Just like at the second meeting and in the mailer that went out, this video also says, much of the costs of the project will be shared with other towns in VT. Ok, show us the numbers. How much will Fairfax residents be paying for this project and how much will the rest of the state be paying? According to the Vermont School Construction Planning Guide, before the warning for a public vote on the project is published, voters are suppose to be informed how much of the project will be fully funded by the district."
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ohhman
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2017, 01:57:35 PM »

I wonder if this question will ever be answered??  I have read a few posts on facebook from someone whom has requested this information from the Dept. of Ed. He has gotten some very enlightening information.  Mary Kay, do you have access to those letters?? maybe we can ask for that information to be shared here?
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mkr
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 02:14:29 PM »

I shared the link to the bond presentation.
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