To the Editor:
We earnestly ask Town Meeting members to vote in support of Article 2 (a new Hunnewell), Article 3 (a new Hardy), and Article 4 (the land transfer of three parcels adjacent to Route 9 and Hardy to the School Committee) at the end of October. We encourage all citizens of Wellesley to reach out to Town Meeting members to voice their support of these articles as well.
We are parents of children who currently attend the Hardy and Hunnewell schools, and we deeply appreciate the incredible investment this town and its residents have made in education since its inception. It is time now to continue that tradition of investment to maintain the levels of education and learning for which Wellesley is known. High quality schools are one of the most attractive aspects of the town for young families like ours (indeed, it was one of the most important factors that attracted us here!), and are a key driver of Wellesley’s strong and stable property values.
The “new” Sprague was opened over 20 years ago, in September 2002, and represents the last major investment in Wellesley’s elementary infrastructure. The Hardy School opened nearly 100 years ago, in 1923, and the Hunnewell School was opened in 1938.
- Both schools have systems (heating, plumbing, ventilation) and finishes that are well beyond their useful lives, and have outdated, insufficient spaces that make it challenging to deliver the educational program.
- Hunnewell experienced an electrical fire in 2020, due to outdated wiring.
- Both Hunnewell and Hardy have “temporary” modular classrooms that have been in place for nearly 30 years.
- Hardy lacks specialist spaces (in recent years, many of its educators have had no dedicated space and have to work at tables, in hallways or in corners of larger rooms).
- Hunnewell has a gym that is one-third the size of the MSBA standard and Hardy has a gym that is one half the MSBA standard—both are spaces that play double-duty as a cafeteria, with no school kitchen.
The work to get to this point has been complex and significant. After nearly a decade spent studying, debating, and planning, thanks to hundreds and hundreds of volunteer and paid consultant hours, Town Meeting members finally can move this project forward to completion. The need to rebuild Hardy and Hunnewell has been long established and the projects have widespread support amongst our community.
We are excited about the design of the new buildings and how they will begin to address the Town’s carbon emission reduction goals. Both schools will have all electric systems and solar panels. Both schools will be LEED certified. Both schools will be examples to our children about our commitment to the planet and their future.
Superb public education has long been synonymous with our Town. These projects are long-term investments in our community and our future generations. The time to act is now.
Please encourage your Town Meeting Member to vote in support of these articles. And on December 7 in the town election, please Vote YES on Articles 2, 3 and 4. Vote YES for Wellesley Students and for our community. If you’d like to learn more, you can visit yesforwellesleystudents.com.
Lauren & Jeremy Duprey
Jill & Todd Maher