As I gaze out my kitchen window I see the regal steel of the new Bancroft Elementary School swinging into position (beginning at 7 in the morning). As the building assembles, it’s like the pulling together of all the ideas and dreams any thoughtful community might have as they add to the richness of their town. The new school represents the high quality standards the town of Andover embraces as it cherishes the crown jewel of our reputation: a top quality school system.
The new Bancroft is expensive—the biggest capital outlay we’ve had in years – and the increased costs we are now facing as a result of the construction delays are very unfortunate. I acknowledge that none of us want to see a more expensive project (although the tax impact of these increased costs apparently is minimal). As we climb out of this economic recession we need the wind at our back in all respects. Yet our commitment to excellence in the school system—for our children and grandchildren—and even for those of us whose children have moved on in life, is unshakable. The reputation of Andover and its schools resonates around the region; it’s like looking out onto a forest sanctuary or a beautiful park in which we may never tread, but in which we have consummate pride. So, though wringing our hands with frustration about the added costs, it’s something we simply must support. All of us.
I also serve as the chairman of Andover’s Economic Development Council. This volunteer group of citizens and neighbors concerns itself with the overall well-being of Andover from an economic perspective. We try to enhance the town’s reputation within the greater business community in order to attract companies here, add to the tax base, create jobs, and enrich our shopping experience. We believe that a business firm or a young family takes a holistic view of our community—and certainly the school system and its attendant facilities—before committing themselves to join us here in Andover.
So, speaking also on behalf of the EDC, I urge you to attend the Special Town Meeting on Monday, Feb. 11, and participate in this important discussion. Andover has the opportunity to be the best place to work and live in America, and supporting this funding for the new Bancroft Elementary School is a very important step in that direction.
9 Bancroft Road