Orwell

06/10/2020
ORWELL — Slate Valley Unified Union School District (SVUUSD) residents, including those in Orwell, turned out at the polls on Tuesday to again reject a proposed 2020–2021 budget of $26,623,041 for K–12 education. Only this time, the margin of defeat was wider. Residents defeated it by an 812-550 tally. On Town Meeting Day in March residents of the SVUUSD-member towns of Orwell, Castleton, Benson, Hubbardton, West Haven and Fair Haven turned away the budget by only a 1,585 to 1,490 margin. Slate Valley officials had been optimistic about the budget’s chances on Tuesday. They had noted that...
05/28/2020
ORWELL — Orwell voters will join their fellow Slate Valley Unified Union School District (SVUUSD) residents at the polls on June 9 to field the same fiscal year 2021 K-12 public education budget that was defeated by just 95 tallies back on Town Meeting Day. A change in how a budget surplus from a previous year would be spent could make the tax impact less of a hurdle for some voters. The proposed $26,623,041 spending plan failed by a 1,585 to 1,490 tally in March. SVUUSD serves children in Orwell, Castleton, Benson, Hubbardton, West Haven and Fair Haven. The defeated budget at the time...
03/05/2020
ORWELL — Orwell residents on Tuesday joined other Slate Valley Unified Union School District (SVUUSD) voters in soundly defeating a proposed $59.5 million bond issue that would have, among other things, bankrolled an 8,200-square-foot addition to the Orwell school. The proposal — which would have also resulted in extensive renovations to Fair Haven Union High School, a new “Slate Valley Middle School” and a new, $842,066 elevator system at Fair Haven Grade School — was defeated by 2,489-719 margin by the collective voters of Orwell, Castleton, Benson, Hubbardton, West Haven and Fair Haven....
03/05/2020
ORWELL — Orwell residents on Tuesday approved a town budget and welcomed two new members to the town selectboard. The big ticket items on the Town Meeting Day ballot — a $26,623,041 Slate Valley Unified Union School District spending plan and a $59.5 million SVUUSD building bond — were defeated by the six-town school district that includes Orwell. At Tuesday’s annual town meeting at the Orwell Town Hall, voters approved a $1,122,249 proposed 2020 budget, of which $753,205 will need to be funded by taxpayers. They also OK’d $55,000 for the repair of the Orwell Free Library’s standing seam roof...
03/02/2020
ORWELL — The Fortnightly Club of Orwell, a member of the General Foundation of Women’s clubs of Vermont (GFWC-VT, has announced the availability of scholarships for Vermont women beyond the traditional college age seeking to further their education or training or to upgrade their skills in preparation for advancing in the workplace.  The scholarships range from $500 to $1,500. GFWC-VT has been awarding this financial aid, which is funded through contributions from state federated clubs and from individuals, for many years.  The scholarship is named for Barbara Jean Barker, late of Poultney,...
02/27/2020
ORWELL — Orwell residents will gather at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 3, in Orwell Town Hall to deal with town financial issues, and, no doubt, when those questions are settled discuss the issue of the future of the building in which they are meeting. One scenario in a $59.5 million Slate Valley Unified Union School District bond proposal being floated on Tuesday calls for Orwell’s Town Hall, now used by the Orwell Village School as a gym and cafeteria but in poor condition, to be razed and the space used for parking. Some Orwell petitioners have asked that scenario not to occur, and officials...

ORWELL RESIDENTS BOB Bogdan, left, Tim Short and Jean Audet were among more than 20 people who made a show of support in front of their town hall on Wednesday. Slate Valley Unified Union School District officials are considering razing the building as one option to make way for an addition to the village school. Independent photo/Steve James
02/20/2020
ORWELL — Jean Audet has always been enamored of the historical significance and visual beauty of the Orwell Town Hall, a stately, Greek Revival edifice that has stood vigil over the village green during the past 179 years. But when she passes by the Main Street building these days, she hears the echo of a verse from Joni Mitchell’s 1970 tune, “Big Yellow Taxi.” “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Audet is among a group of Orwell residents concerned their town hall might soon be razed and removed as part of a plan to fix and-expand the adjacent town school (see story). Around $6...
02/20/2020
ORWELL — Residents in Orwell and the other five towns in the Slate Valley Unified Union School District (SVUUSD) will vote on a $59.5 million bond referendum on March 3. The money would pay for a new, 8,200-square-foot addition for the Orwell Village School, as well as construction of a new district middle school and major upgrades to Fair Haven Union High School. The proposal is the culmination of almost two years of research by an SVUUSD committee charged with researching ways to expand educational opportunities for students and pitch ways to address the costs of deferred maintenance to...
02/20/2020
The $59.5 million proposed school bond for the Slate Valley Unified Union School District is an ambitious project with a few fine points to work out regarding its proposed changes for Orwell’s K-8 Village School. As stated in current plans, the district project would commit significant dollars to renovating Fair Haven Union High School, build a new district middle school, and commit significant resources to upgrading the district’s other primary schools. Among those projects is a $6 million renovation and 8,200-square-foot addition with a new cafeteria and gym to the Orwell school. The...
02/13/2020
ORWELL — The term “Middle East” is a changing geopolitical concept. Throughout recent history, this term referred to a political, a cultural, and a geographical region with no clear boundaries. Mohamed Defaa, an Arabic instructor at Southern New Hampshire University, will give a multi-media presentation on the term at the Orwell Public Library on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m., at the Orwell Public Library. The term “Middle East” serves to generate stereotypes and misunderstanding. This multimedia presentation provides an analytical framework to understand the histories, social identities, and...

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Addison County Independent

58 Maple Street
Middlebury, VT 05753

Phone: 802.388.4944
Fax: 802.388.3100