PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

Many Ayer and Shirley residents are aware that the Ayer Shirley Middle-High School is in poor condition and in need of major renovation to ensure continued accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

On May 21, the registered voters of Ayer and Shirley will have the opportunity to vote on a question regarding the borrowing of funds by the Ayer-Shirley Regional School District for a feasibility study. The feasibility study is a required first step by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) before they will agree to partner with Ayer and Shirley to reimburse 63 to 68 percent of this important project. Without the feasibility study, MSBA will not agree to a partnership, leaving Ayer and Shirley with 100 percent of repair and renovation costs. Specific to the feasibility study, MSBA will reimburse a minimum of 56.7 percent for the study and up to 68 percent if we enter into the project. Please see ayershirleyregion.org for more information and a summary presentation that will provide a better understanding of the requirements and process as well as how to obtain answers to your questions. Also, the following public forums will be held in order for citizens to gain more information and have their questions answered:

Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m. at the middle school in Shirley

Wednesday, May 18,at 7 p.m. at the high school in Ayer

The Ayer-Shirley District and School Committee have invested a great deal of time studying and researching this issue in order to be thorough and responsible both fiscally and ethically.

It is important for each vote to be built from a well-informed and well thought-out process by each individual casting a vote. It is only from becoming educated on the facts that each vote can be truly responsible. Please become informed with accurate information so you can make an educated decision for yourself, your family, the Ayer and Shirley children, and the future of our communities.

Please get out and vote YES to support our town and our schools.

CHERYL ALFIERI-SIMMONS

Ayer