Winthrop is Worth It

Thursday, September 26, 2013
By Transcript Staff

Committee supporting new schools off to strong start

We had the opportunity to sit down with Carolyn Cash Gagnon, one of the founders of the newly formed committee, Winthrop Is Worth It, whose members have been working diligently in support of the proposed Winthrop middle/high school building project.

Let’s just say that Mrs. Gagnon, a proud graduate of Winthrop High School, made a very convincing and informative presentation that the direction to go for Winthrop is a beautiful, brand-new, state-of-the-art school building with separate entrances for the middle school and the high school.

Gagnon, who has two children in the school system, pointed out that the cost of a full renovation of the two schools would be in the neighborhood of $50 million, while the cost to the town for the new buildings is capped at $42 million and that number could drop to $39 million, according to the latest figures.

And Gagnon’s argument against a massive renovation project is a sound one: “You’re going to sink all this money into renovations and you’re still stuck with almost 50-year-old buildings.”

Gagnon, who excelled for a Northeastern Conference championship girls basketball team (Carolyn related the wonderful story about how the great Lisa Monteleone Ferrara worked with her on converting left-handed lay-ups), spoke about a visit to Miller Field to watch her niece compete for the WHS track team and how Carolyn wasn’t proud of the condition of the facility and how it didn’t reflect well on the community.

Her point was that the condition of our athletic facilities and our schools reflect on the community itself and let’s face the facts: The Winthrop Middle School and Winthrop High School buildings are well past their prime and it’s time for brand new schools for our middle and high school students. And it’s more cost-effective, thanks to the state’s reimbursement program, to build brand new schools.

We ask that residents have an open mind and listen to what the Winthrop Worth It Committee has to say before casting their ballots in the Nov. 5 election.

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