East Hampton High School Referendum Could be Held by Early Spring

The building committee is working on details of when to hold the referendum.


Voters could be casting ballots on the proposed rebuilding of East Hampton High School as early as March or April under a tentative timetable under review by the High School Building Committee.

Some, however, have raised concerns about whether that will give the committee and supporters of the rebuilding proposal enough time to hammer out the details of the project and get residents to support it.

Some Board of Education members have questioned whether the building committee should go forward with an early referendum, given that it does not yet have specific educational specifications for the new space. Others have said delaying the referendum until May or June to prepare detailed specifications would put the building referendum into the same time-table as the annual budget referendum.

Interim School Superintendent Mark Winzler said he has seen several school building projects in districts where he has worked. He said he has seen referendums put through with and without the inclusion of specific educational details.

Winzler added, however, that the real key to getting the referendum passed will be getting the parents of young children out to the polls.

“You need to get elementary and middle school parents out to the polls,” Winzler said. “They’re the ones whose kids will be going here.

The building committee is reviewing a proposal to rebuild the high school to address deficiencies that were noted in a report by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the group that grants accreditation to New England high schools.

The building project has been estimated at between $37-$40 million.


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