The Harwood Unified Union District (HUUSD) Board will discuss components of a proposed bond on September 8 in advance of voting on whether to warn the bond for a November vote at its next meeting on September 15. The board will also be discussing the results of a community-wide survey about the bond. That survey is currently available at https://tinyurl.com/56caa8n4 until September 7. The survey asks about the importance of the condition of the Harwood Union High School building to attract and retain new families and educators to the Mad River Valley, as well as whether a bond should be voted on this November and explains it would cost to taxpayers.
If a bond passes in November, construction of renovations at Harwood Union could begin in 2023 with anticipated completion for the 2024-2025 school year. As discussed at the August 24 school board meeting, significant repairs and improvements to the Harwood Union High School building are necessary. The plan presented also included bringing the 1965 building up to 21st-Century learning standards, as well as expanding Crossett Brook Middle School to accommodate Harwood Union Middle School seventh and eighth graders.
Components of the bond, which is estimated to be $59.5 million include a second gym at Harwood, which is projected to cost $5.7 million and would raise taxes by $65 per year for a $350,000 house. A new track at Harwood is projected to cost $2.9 million and raise taxes by approximately $33 per year on a $350,000 house. Adding a learning and community gathering space at Crossett Brook Middle School would cost an estimated $1.4 million and increase taxes by $16 per year on a $350,000 house.
The survey asks whether taxpayers would be likely to approve a $40 million, $50 million, $60 million or $70 million bond, or no bond at all. A $60 million bond would cover all Harwood repairs, the addition at Crossett Brook Middle School (including the community gathering/learning space), all requested educational updates and improvements at Harwood, a new track and a second gym at Harwood. A $60 million bond would increase taxes on a $350,000 house by a total of $611 per year for the duration of the bond. A $36 million, 20-year bond funding $36 million in renovations and improvements to the Harwood Union High School would increase taxes by approximately $400 per year for a $350,000 house. The survey includes the breakdown and tax implications of each potential bond level.
The school board will discuss the survey results and community feedback at its September 8 meeting and will vote on September 15 whether to put the bond before voters in November.