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The Debate Over Edward Little High School in Auburn Continues

Edward Little statue

The endless debate continues over what to do with Edward Little High School (E.L.H.S.) in Auburn, Maine. Things will be heated, to be sure, tonight at Auburn City Hall. It’s a debate on whether to renovate or build a new high school for Auburn and it is going on as I post this. E.L.H.S. was built in 1960 at a cost of just under two million dollars. Today a major renovation of E.L.H.S. will cost upwards of 50 million dollars and the cost of building a whole new high school for Auburn would be in the neighborhood at a little over 60 million dollars. The numbers are just estimates and there is no exact figure known.

There are three options; do a huge renovation on the site, build a new high school on the same property or build a new school elsewhere in Auburn.  Edward Little is #16 on the school construction list. However, no state money is available right now. So, we as Auburn residents, would have to foot the whole thing.

Would I vote yes for a new school if and or when it comes down to a city-wide ballot referendum/bond issue? Unless there was something I didn’t like in the question or the tax burden was way too high, I’d vote yes. I’m only hesitant on my answer now because Auburn’s City Manager can’t provide the tax numbers. I do think Auburn is in desperate need of a new high school. I’d also like to see Auburn look around for a rich person who would like a school named after him or her.

There is the argument being made that a new school would bring people in to live in  Auburn and that would boost the tax base. At any rate, I’m sure I’ll hear about tonight’s debate from parents at my kids’ schools or later tonight on the news.

Next year my oldest Dylan will be starting E.L.H.S. Two years after, Justin will be there. Vikki? Well she’ll get there in 13 years. So as you can see, I could support a slight increase in property tax to pay for either a renovation of E.L.H.S or the construction of a new school. On a side note, I’d love to know how ELHS grads would feel if they bulldozed their nostalgia.

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