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The student news site of Harwood Union Middle/High School in South Duxbury, Vermont

Common Ground

The student news site of Harwood Union Middle/High School in South Duxbury, Vermont

Common Ground

Harwood’s Bond: Consulting the Community

Photo Credit: Jasper Mayone

On November 16th at 6pm, a presentation sharing the logistics of Harwood’s Bond proposal was held at Harwood Union High School’s auditorium. Students, parents, and community members alike were welcome to attend the presentation to gather information and voice their opinions regarding the Bond. Although attendance of the event was little, the amount of ideas shared was sizable.

Harwood’s Bond is a large-scale project intended to provide Harwood’s facilities with major long-due renovations that are needed to meet the needs of students and comply with state regulations . The price point is currently set to be at least 71 million dollars. Harwood’s administration is currently working with TruexCullins, an architecture firm that successfully worked on Winooski Schools’ equivalent of the Bond that was completed in late 2022. 

During the presentation, superintendent Michael Leichliter, along with other officials including director of facilities Ray Daigle, director of finance operations Lisa Estle, and architects from TruexCullins, explained the process of the Bond in full detail. Attendees were informed about what was included in the current state of the Bond, and the restrictions that administrators have when designing the Bond.

Attendees were able to put stickers next to topics they felt were important at the end of the meeting. (Photo Credit: Jack Adair)

It was also discussed that there are 4 categories of changes: Compliance and repairs,  efficiencies and improvements, education alignment, and additional options that are under consideration. The compliance and repairs category addresses renovations and replacements that are needed to meet current building codes. Such repairs include replacing and insulating the roof, removing the original electrical and plumbing infrastructure constructed in 1965, and improving the science labs to meet OSHA’s standards. The cost of the Compliance and Repairs category is estimated to be approximately 64-million dollars. The efficiencies and improvements category, set to be around 4-million dollars, would include increasing Harwood’s energy efficiency, improving the traffic flow moving in and out of the site, and relocating Harwood’s Community Learning Center (HCLC) on site.

The education alignment category, with a price point set to be at around 3 million dollars, contains improvements relating to the enhancement of spaces for student use. Improvements include new furniture, new locker rooms for varsity teams, and improved STEM facilities. The Bond also has an additional category that includes features that may or may not be added to the final bond, with improvements such as improved gym spaces.

The Bond will not be a quick process, though. Voting will not occur until late 2024, and the construction process will also be lengthy as well, with some construction taking place during the school year as stated by superintendent Dr Mike. “It will be inconvenient in the short-term, but beneficial in the long term”, Mike said in an interview after the presentation.

It is vital that you as a community member, parent, or student attend these meetings to be well-informed and give feedback on the Bond before it is voted on in November 2024. If you missed any of the past meetings, do not fret. Future presentations will occur at Warren Elementary School’s gymnasium on December 5th, CBMS’s cafeteria on December 14th, Moretown Elementary School’s cafeteria on December 19th, Waitsfield Elementary School’s gymnasium on January 11th, and Fayston Elementary’s gymnasium on January 16th. All meetings will occur at 6pm.

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