After extensive debate at last week’s School District meeting and last night’s Town Meeting, the voters of Middlebury have decided to move forward with a plan to demolish the Town Office Building and Municipal Gym to be rebuilt in new locations. The election results were released after a day of open polls and hours of counting ballots. The tally for Article 6, the main point of discussion, was 915 for and 798 against. For those like me who need a calculator for basic math, that’s 1,713 total votes and a difference of 117. Pretty darn close.
Regardless of your feelings about the outcome, we can all appreciate the impressive amount of community involvement in this major decision for the Town. Many concerns were expressed during this process about the divisive nature of this issue and the potential for lack of consensus to create a rift in the community. Let’s hope that such an outcome can be avoided. After hearing many impassioned speeches at last night’s town meeting, I certainly hope that concerns about space for teen and senior programming and accessibility issues can be appropriately addressed, a hope shared by at least 798 people in this community.
Residents of both the Town and Campus can look forward to some new additions to the landscape in the coming months: a beautiful park connecting the Town and College, a welcoming new Town Office building located on the rotary downtown, and a multi-purpose gymnasium available for public use on the new Creek Road site. Extensive details of the plan are available online, as well as lot’s of cool pictures from the future.
Thanks for following Middbeat’s coverage of this process, our first foray into local politics. As always, please submit anything and everything, town-related or otherwise to middbeat[at]gmail[dot]com. Read after the jump for the full election report, including results for the Selectboard, Schoolboard, and Articles 6-9.