Twin Valley School District Considers Further Consolidation

06/10/11 4:04PM By Susan Keese

(Host) Citizens in Wilmington and Whitingham will vote next month on whether to expand the ‘joint contract' that already consolidates the two towns' high school and middle school.

In 2004 the two neighboring towns joined forces to create a shared Twin Valley High School in Wilmington and a shared Twin Valley middle school in Whitingham.

The new agreement would consolidate elementary grades as well and eliminate one school building. That could mean closing the current Twin Valley High school in Wilmington and sending all the upper grades to Whitingham.

Or it could mean closing an elementary school in Wilmington.

Officials say it's necessary to close a school because the savings could pay for much-needed renovations to the remaining two school buildings. The towns have repeatedly voted no on financing the repairs through taxes.

The July vote will include an advisory question on which school to close. Seth Boyd, of Whitingham, chairs the Twin Valley Board.

(Boyd) "So this is an emotional choice for Wilmington for sure because they have to choose which building they don't want to any longer use as a school facility. It was very difficult eight years ago when we created Twin Valley for Whitingham residents to give up a high school in their town. That's a difficult  decision to make for Wilmington residents with the option that puts the Twin Valley High School into Whitingham."

(Host) If the two towns agree to merge elementary grades, residents would vote later on a specific plan.

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