Superintendent’s Update

Print More

As shared in previous Observer submissions, it is my intention to narrow the focus of my articles to make them shorter and more reader friendly. Although the articles will not encompass everything that is happening, they are still intended to elucidate the great work that is happening in all four of our public schools. For this month, I would like to draw attention to two key areas of public interest, our FY25 budget proposal and the Suffield Middle School building project proposal.

The first item I would like to draw attention to is the Suffield Middle School building project proposal that has been many years in the making. Since the Longrange Facilities Study three years ago, our administration and Board of Education have put forth tremendous efforts to prepare a Suffield Middle School building project proposal. A series of working sessions, workshops and presentations have taken place to interpret, synthesize, and communicate the information provided to us by Tecton Architects. The longrange facilities study provided a comprehensive review of several town and school facilities, and raised many concerns regarding the condition of the middle school. Further, the comprehensive study noted that many of the major mechanical and infrastructure systems in the current middle school are either approaching or have exceeded their useful life expectancy.

On the evening of March 20, the Board of Education will present to the Board of Selectmen our rationale for a middle school building project and the projected savings this reimbursable project will have on taxpayers in the years ahead. We recognize that large-scale school building project decisions take time and are very challenging for any community to consider; however, we look forward to the opportunity to share more about this important endeavor with town leadership and the community of Suffield in the months ahead. Please continue to follow discussions on this topic, and visit our district webpage designed for the purpose of information sharing about the SMS Building Project Proposal.

Second, for the past several months, the Board of Education has been meeting frequently in Board of Education budget workshops and subcommittee meetings to develop their FY25 budget proposal. The intent of these efforts was to gain a more thorough understanding of the budget and develop an austere proposal to be shared with the Board of Finance and taxpayers of Suffield. At its March 4 meeting, the Board of Education unanimously voted to approve their FY25 budget proposal. The overall FY25 budget is $39,672,389, which accounts for a 2.96% increase from the FY24 budget. Decreases in state and federal grant revenues, rising special education costs, contractual obligations and transportation expenses account for the largest share of the budget. The Board of Finance will host the Board of Education on the evening of March 25 to receive and ask questions about the BOE FY25 proposal. Anyone interested in learning more about this budget can find detailed information on our district website under the Board of Education budget link. Also, we welcome any questions you may have, so please contact me if you have any specific questions.

In closing, I wish everyone in the community of Suffield a very nice beginning to the beautiful spring season that is right around the corner.

Comments are closed.