To the editor:
We had the privilege of sending our three children to the Gloucester Public Schools from kindergarten through Gloucester High School. East Gloucester was our neighborhood school. It was the perfect size to begin their school journey. Like Veterans school, it had a great teaching staff, an open green space with a playground for all, a cafeteria, and an auditorium where we proudly watched our children perform in music and stage productions.
If we vote yes for the override, two neighborhoods will lose their core. (Mattos Field is a much-used green space and a community center for all ages.) Rather than renovate, these neighborhood schools will be torn down and at least $50 million will be spent on a building that looks like a factory.
I attended meetings discussing the “new” school off Webster Street. I listened to neighbors of Veterans school talk about the tight access to the school and the loss of their Mattos Field. We asked about costs for renovating our neighborhood schools that have suffered from poor maintenance. We did not get figures but were told it is more expensive to renovate. Most of us live in homes we have renovated and maintained over the years. We like the scale of our neighborhoods and have witnessed the mega-mansions dwarfing neighborhoods.
We want our children to feel safe, a have a sense of community, love learning, and develop lasting friendships. Big schools can be intimidating for small children. Let’s spend our tax dollars restoring our neighborhood schools and supporting our teachers.