“This [athletic complex] project is long overdue”


Letter to the Editor iconTo the Editor:

On Wednesday, March 15, 2023, the Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee voted unanimously (9-0, 1 absent) to appropriate $7,960,393 to renovate the athletic facilities at Algonquin Regional High School. The next step in this process is for Southborough Town Meeting to vote on whether to approve its $2,998,680 share of that amount, followed by Northborough in April. 

The “Gonkplex” project includes the most significant upgrades to ARHS since the school itself was renovated in 2004.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance is a theme throughout the project. The new seating will include revised parking, new ramps, companion seats, and an elevator to the new ADA-compliant press box. Upgrades to the amenities building will make it ADA-compliant while adding significant restroom capacity.

This project is long overdue, as our current facilities are well past their life expectancy. 

As for the cost, this is the first capital project for which the Regional School Committee has requested funding since the 2004 building renovation. And the administration has done its due diligence in finding effective ways to fund the project, by issuing a 15-year bond that plays out as follows:

  • Fiscal 2024: No tax impact
  • Fiscal 2025-26: Bond anticipation notes begin, requiring interest-only payments – $28/average household for 2025 and $55/average household for 2026.
  • Fiscal 2027: Principal and interest begins for project – tax impact $87 per year.

The $60 million bond for the 2004 ARHS building renovation matures in 2027. That will create a year of overlap between the two projects (2027). For that year, the expected tax impact of both projects combined is $196. After that, taxpayers will pay only for the athletic project and its average $87 per year tab.

We humbly request you plan to attend Town Meeting at 1 p.m. on March 25, 2023, at Trottier School and vote to support these much-needed upgrades. If approved by both towns, the new facility should be ready for the fall 2023 season.

For more information, visit www.gonkplex.org.

Thank you,

Paul Desmond, member, Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee and Southborough Co-chair, Algonquin Athletic Complex Committee
David Roman, Northborough Co-chair, Algonquin Athletic Complex Committee

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