To the editor:
Sometimes, we don’t get what we think is the perfect option or the best choice but we always have the opportunity to do the best possible thing with what we have before us.
Sometimes, what we have even turns out to be just what we need. The new school for Amesbury Elementary is much like that. I have deep personal connections to the school, having spent most of my career there, and am deeply engrained in the culture of Amesbury Elementary though the views expressed here are solely my own.
When talk of replacement began, I fully expected the new school to be on the same site, but then we began to investigate our options, and the problems began to appear as if they were the layers of an onion.
It was at that time that I began to accept that we might have to consider other options. The wetlands issues at the current AES site far exceed anything we expected and would have been a more complex project because it would have been considered an urban build, which is logistically challenging to say the least.
During construction, in addition to having to bring materials and equipment on site daily, there would have been no on-site parking for anyone, no play space and an extremely challenging pickup and drop-off process. Beyond the construction issues, the building poses a myriad of remediation problems that would have been extremely costly to deal with.
To make matters worse, the overall expense of building on that site would have exceeded the projected costs of the selected site at Cashman. Additionally, if we chose to restore Amesbury Elementary where it is, we would get no help from the state, and it would cost the taxpayers of Amesbury almost as much as would a new, appropriate, modern building.
Admittedly, leaving this site will be difficult for me, but our new school at the Cashman site will be such an improvement for students and for staff. The educational spaces will be what our children need and having both schools on one campus will provide us with so many new opportunities for collaboration and cooperative learning.
The new school, located at the Cashman site, is something the children of Amesbury deserve. Please be sure to vote on Oct. 8 and please support our new school. It really is the best thing for Amesbury.
The letter writer is an Amesbury Elementary School teacher.