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Vote “Yes” on new Northeast Metro Tech School to invest in the youth of Saugus for generations to come

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  Back in October when an article was presented to Town Meeting, I voted against supporting Northeast Metro Tech’s bid to fund a new school building project. I felt that it was a decision that needed to be left to the taxpayers because the cost of the project could not be substantiated through the town’s operating budget. Alternative measures would need to be looked at, the most prevalent being a temporary tax increase which will need to be voted on by the town (This was done a few years back to fund our new Middle/High School Project). A separate election will need to be held for a tax increase if the vote passes on January 25th.

  I graduated from Northeast in 2019 with a degree in Business Technology and I can say without a doubt that attending the Voke is the best decision I have ever made. It prepared me for the college journey I am on right now, which otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. The current building is falling apart. I saw firsthand the rain buckets in the hallways after a storm, the broken light fixtures and antiquated piping in the ceilings. There are only so many times that students can “bandage” the school back together. Most important of all, the current school is not fully handicapped accessible. I remember helping students with broken legs up the stairs because there is no elevator and they needed to get to class. Since graduation, classmates of mine have gone on to start their own small contracting businesses, join trade unions, apprenticeships and gone on to colleges like myself.

  The price tag of 317 Million may seem daunting, but the MSBA has issued Northeast 141 Million in grants. Leaving about 176 Million to be divided amongst the 12 Northeast feeder communities. Of this, Saugus will be responsible for 13.5% or about 23.8 Million, the exact figure will vary depending on student enrollment over the course of the 30 year bond. For most families, this will be an increase of $10-$15 per month. Times are tough right now, but in my opinion, it is a small price to pay for what will be a state-of-the-art facility which will house 400 more students than the current school and invest in the youth of Saugus for generations to come.

  On January 25th, I am asking that you vote YES in support of a new Northeast Metro Tech because it is what’s best for the students of today and especially the students of tomorrow.

Andrew Whitcomb

Former Town Meeting Member, Precinct 4

Northeast Class of 2019

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