Boldyga weighs in on school vote

SOUTHWICK – While many residents are wondering about state Rep. Nicholas Boldyga’s position on the proposed school building project, Boldyga said his job to represent all constituents.
Boldyga did say he believes in the mission of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).
“I support the MSBA,” he said. “It gives financing to communities and does great projects. The reimbursement is a great thing for local communities so they don’t have to come up with the whole financing for their project.”
Boldyga said the Jan. 31 special election ballot question on a debt exclusion to fund the $72 million Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District multi-school project will be a tough one.
“The decision rests on the residents of the communities and they have to make their decision and it’s not going to be easy,” Boldyga said. “With the current economy, I have heard the arguments from both sides and I understand.”
Boldyga said when he speaks to residents he explains to them how the MSBA works. He said the repairs needed in all three schools are necessary.
“Something has to be done and my job is to advocate for the state to provide programs like this and provide the tools for the community to decide what they want to do.”
“Ultimately, it’s up to the residents to vote on this,” said Boldyga.
The debt exclusion asks voters to agree to pay for a $72 million renovation project to three of the district schools.
The project is unique because the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) is offering reimbursement for renovations to Woodland Elementary School, Powder Mill Middle School, and Southwick-Tolland Regional High School (STRHS) as a group. In order to take a campus approach to the project, Southwick, Tolland and Granville had to pass an agreement for Granville to join the regional school district at special town meetings in all communities.
The MSBA has signed a contract to fund 60 percent of the project, leaving nearly $30 million up to the towns to fund. Barry said necessary repairs to the three schools would cost $60 million if the district tackled them alone. Cost to Southwick property tax payers would be an average of $400 per year for 25 years if the bond rate is four percent, a rate Superintendent Dr. John Barry called “conservative.”

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