Holden To Vote On Mountview Middle School Plan In April

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A preliminary concept for the new 128,000-square-foot Mountview Middle School is shown. Voters will be able to offer their input about the project in April.
A preliminary concept for the new 128,000-square-foot Mountview Middle School is shown. Voters will be able to offer their input about the project in April. Photo Credit: Lamoureaux Pagano Associates

HOLDEN, Mass. — Holden voters will have their say on whether to go forward with the new Mountview Middle School construction project at a special town meeting and ballot election in April.

After years of work by the Mountview School Building Committee, the Holden Board of Selectman on Monday set a special town meeting about the project for Monday, April 8, with a ballot election also set for Thursday, April 11.

According to Building Committee Chair Paul Challenger, an audio-visual presentation on the project and question-and-answer session will be held at the town meeting to give residents information and the opportunity to have their say.

"We prefer to do this at a special town meeting rather than a regular town meeting because the regular town meeting is already jam-packed with important issues, and adding a project of this size will call for hours of discussion, which seems like the wrong thing to add to the annual agenda," explained Challenger.

In October, the Massachusetts School Building Authority approved Holden's recommendation for constructing a new Mountview Middle School on the same Shrewsbury Street site, rather than doing a renovation or choosing a new location.

The MSBA's final approval of the project will come April 3, with the decision to also determine the percentage the state will cost-share with Holden. Currently, it is expected that the MSBA will contribute 50 to 54 percent of the funds.

Since the MSBA already approved the project proposal, Challenger said they don't expect any surprises or major changes from the MSBA on April 3.

The new building is slated to be an 128,000-square-foot school constructed behind the existing 91,000-square-foot facility.

Committee member David White also explained that the building could be utilized for an evacuation location in town, in case of emergency.

While the senior center can hold about 60 people, White said it isn't able to accommodate people overnight.

"The plan is to have a generator that will be able to service the entire building," said White, adding that the new middle school gym and cafeteria would likely have the capacity to provide shelter for 300 to 400 people.

"We don't have anything of that size that we own," said White.

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Comments (15)

Mr. White what you said was: "Another voice of Mr Meyer wants us to have armed guards at the schools in Holden instead of building a new Mountview. If we don't build the school we can have the money to pay for armed guards. Smoke and mirrors mixing two different issues and attempts to confuse." Mr. White your statement is clearly NOT true but of course you already know that. This is just another of your smoke screens in an attempt to divert attention from the issues.

Now Mr. White, enough of the stalling and smoke screens. Answer the questions.

Starting with how did you get from $39 Million you told the taxpayers to $50+ Million (an incredible $11 Million - 28+% 'Bait and Switch' increase before the project even started).

Enough of the stalling and smoke screens Dave White. Answer the questions.

Starting with how did you get from $39 Million to $50+ Million (an incredible $11 Million - 28+% 'Bait and Switch increase before the project even started).

And your ludicrous comment about me looking for armed guards at schools is an outright lie!

WOW aren't we sensitive I never said you were "looking for armed guards at schools" did I. Why such a guilty conscience.

Admit it Ed for once you would not support this project for any amount of money and your only goal is to muddy the water and attempt to confuse people. That is what you do so just fess up!

Other than the Senior Center what other capital project have you ever supported? I think I already listed around 8 of the ones you worked against.


You wouldn't support a project for $38.00!


Anyone but JJ - May 2013

Mr. Renzoni is correct. Contrary to information received from another member of the Board of Selectmen he did post a notice of the school committee appearance. My apologies to Mr. Renzoni.

Now perhaps Mr. White can explain to the taxpayers how the $39 Million project they showed us to get the project approved has now turned into a $50+ Million project (an $11+ Million, nearly 30% increase already).

Perhaps Mr. White can explain why he expects the taxpayers to spend several thousand dollars to hold a special town ballot vote on his $50+ Million project just one month before the regular town elections.

Perhaps Mr. White can explain why he would rather have his $50+ Million project voted on by a smaller number of taxpayers at a special ballot vote (at an additional cost of several thousand dollars) rather than by a larger number of taxpayers at our already scheduled annual town elections.

Perhaps Deminimus Maureen Maximus can help you answer these questions. Perhaps…..

I forgot to mention Mr Meyer said "Mr. Renzoni is correct. Contrary to information received from another member of the Board of Selectmen he did post a notice of the school committee appearance. My apologies to Mr. Renzoni."

Another totally inacurate statement, which we have all come to expect. The "School Committee" was not at the BOS meeting wit was the Mountview School Building Committee, which was appointed by the town manager of Holden.

Where did Mr Meyer get his information? From a member of the BOS who would that be?

As predicted, lets twist the discussion from do we need a middle school, do we want state funding to noise and attempts to distract from these issues.

Folks you will continue to hear this from now until April be prepared.

Another voice of Mr Meyer wants us to have armed guards at the schools in Holden instead of building a new Mountview. If we don't build the school we can have the money to pay for armed guards. Smoke and mirrors mixing two different issues and attempts to confuse.

I predicted yesterday it would begin abd here we go. Hold onto your hats because it's going to be a bumpy ride folks with all the voices coming out with distraction after distraction.

Chairman Renzoni, Don’t start throwing FACTS in the way of Mr. Meyers statements he hates that

Also all that was asked of the BOS was to set a calendar for the town meeting and ballot not to vote on them. The money to hold these meetings is already in hand so to hold the meetings is no surprise. There was no request to either favor or not favor the project simply to set the dates. It would have been very arrogant of the BOS to have not allowed the project to have its day before the voters which is what it seems Mr. Meyer would have liked. There will be time in the future for Mr. Meyer and his voices to criticize the project and attempt to fog the issue and confuse people into not knowing what is right or wrong or what is up and what is down. This is always the strategy.

Let’s look at history folks, and if I am wrong someone please let me know on this one. I believe Mr Meyer and his voices worked against the three grammar school projects, the light department, the swimming pool, the high school, the public safety building, town wide sewer project and I believe the underground utilities on Main St. Now this list may not be complete but to the best of my knowledge the only capital project that they supported was the senior center. These are pretty much all of the large projects we have done in town over the past 15 years and they were against all but one of them, go figure.

These same people will tell you how much they love the town and that they are looking out for the tax payers REALLY? Now that all of these projects are complete tell me which one would you wish we had not done? Furthermore the high school which, was a big mess for many reasons, was in fact much more expensive because of the efforts of the NO crowd. They forced us from an all new project into a much more expensive addition renovation. If the first high school project had passed, which was all new, I would suggest it would have been a better building for less money and completed in ½ the time. But the NO crowd forced us into an inferior project for more money, so much for looking out for the taxpayers!

Also Mr. Meyer suggests that we should discuss the Mountview project at the annual town meeting where there will already be 25 to 30 warrant articles to pore over. This will not give enough time to discuss the Mountview project which should be given around 1-2 hours. Lastly within the town of Holden we have ALWAYS given large capital projects their own town meeting and ballot election because of their importance and the need to have ample time to discuss the merits of the project.

Let the deception, miss information and clouding the issue begin from Mr. Meyer and the NO crowd.


From Monday’s Agenda:

Board of Selectmen
Monday, December 17, 2012 at 6:30 PM
Memorial Hall Town Hall 1196 Main Street

7:15 p.m. Mountview Middle School Building Committee, Paul Challenger, Chair
• Update on Committee Activities
• Schedule/ Calendar for Approval by Voters


Anthony Renzoni

Thank you Mr. White and Mr. Ethier.

Mr. Ed is so predictable I could have written his opposition for him. The only part he forgot is his call for resignations. No worry, he'll remember in his next post.

"This" will never stop. We have to build schools, we have to improve infrastructure, we have to pay our taxes in order to live a decent existence in our common spaces and our public lives.

Parents, awake. Organize and fight because Holden Associated Taxpayers and its leadership of numbers man Meyer, drama queen Ferguson, and his appendage James Jumonville, are out to sink this project.

Not surprisingly there is an attempt here to somehow link the school department recent operating budget issues to this project. This is being done to attempt to poison the project with an untrue linkage to the district administration.

For those people that want to know this project is a capital project not linked to operating budgets. It is a project being developed and brought forward by the town of Holden Building Committee not the School Department. It is a project being brought forward out of necessity to the educational environment in which our children are exposed to and educated within.

I would only ask that people become informed on the need and plan being presented and not allow outside noise to distract them from the facts.

If in the end people believe and vote that it is ok to educate the children in a building that by Mass School Building Authority guidelines is 40% too small is ok then so be it. If it is believed that a building with classrooms that are 15% too small then so be it. If people believe that a building that is mechanically and electrically very expensive to operate and has a multitude of hazardous material within it is ok then so be it. If people decided that a building with no fire suppression system in it is ok then so be it.

Again people should vote on facts not noise which we will hear from the very predictable NO signs that will pop up in the early spring.

Golly gee--Ed Meyer is opposed to another school project! I am absolutely shocked. This man has opposed every school project, every school budget and pretty much everything to do with the schools since he crawled out from underneath his rock. School projects have always been voted on at special town meetings for good reason. If done at the regular TM the amount of time involved would keep people there until the wee hours of night or necessitate coming back a second night. I have no doubt this man will speak against this school project just as Mark Ferguson and all of the anti-everything HAT members will. That is their right as Holden voters whether they make any sense or not. As has always happened in the past the good people of Holden will listen to both sides of the argument and make the proper decision which in this voter's opinion is to build the much needed new middle school.

So can someone get me a well paying job, (been out of work for 24 of the 48 months of this country's administration, due to lay offs,) so I can pay the taxes on now this addition, and the safety building, high school, grade schools, etc. When is this going to stop. Maybe after the fiscal cliff? Oh wait, let me go into our backyard here at the homestead and pick off some more $20 of the tree.

With the WRSD already in dire financial straights after their multi-million dollar mistakes now their Mt. View building committee is asking Holden taxpayers to spend thousands of dollars to hold a 'Special Town Meeting' then to spend several thousand dollars more to hold a 'Special Ballot Election' to vote on their $50+ Million Mt. View project. Why are they pushing for these very expensive special meetings just one month before our regular town meeting and ballot elections? Why can't we save this money by doing both at the same time?

BOS Chair Anthony Renzoni had this request from the WRSD's Mt. View committee well in advance of his BOS meeting. Why did he fail to put this issue on their agenda? Why did he call for a vote on their $50+ Million request without listing it on the BOS agenda so taxpayers could come to speak on the issue?