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
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...
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...
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...
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...
Thank you for your Dec. 5 article about the Orwell Village School and the Orwell Town Hall. I encourage you to do further research on the “Slate Valley Innovation Project” (SVIP).
Much of the SVIP proposed $60-million capital improvement construction is to add a middle school to the current Fair Haven Union High School complex. Does that mean that middle school students who would be enrolled in the Orwell Village School will go to Fair Haven? The $6.5 million for new construction at the Orwell school includes a middle school regulation basketball court and other dimensions that seems to...
In regards to the Orwell Town Hall:
The town would be best served if the people in Orwell chose to own the Town Hall, not the school or the Slate Valley School District.
Let the townspeople make the very important decisions as to fix the hall up to standards or build new. Basically, the building is very salvageable. The framework is very sound. It needs a new kitchen, bathroom and a more convenient entrance for senior citizens.
Walker E. James
THE ORWELL TOWN Hall could be demolished to make way for a cafeteria/gym addition to the adjacent Orwell Village School. That project is part of a $60 million capital improvement bond for the SVUUSD that includes major upgrades to Fair Haven Union High School and a new middle school in Fair Haven.
Independent file photo/John S. McCright
I was surprised to read in a recent issue of the Independent that the Slate Valley Unified Union School District has plans to demolish the Orwell Town Hall. This seems like a poor way to welcome Orwell into the merged district.
The SVUUSD says the Town Hall is of no use to the school district because, according to their new plans, it will no longer be used for school functions. It is, however, an important asset to the town of Orwell, serving as it has for over 150 years as the center of town activities, the location of Orwell Town Meeting, and numerous other community functions that rely on...
THE ORWELL TOWN Hall, right, could be demolished to make way for a cafeteria/gym addition to the adjacent Orwell Village School. That project is part of a $60 million capital improvement bond for the SVUUSD that includes major upgrades to Fair Haven Union High School and a new middle school in Fair Haven.
Independent file photo/John S. McCright
ORWELL — Residents of the six towns in the Slate Valley Unified Union School District (SVUUSD) will vote as soon as this coming spring on a massive, $60 million capital improvements bond issue that would, among other things, pay for a new 8,200-square-foot addition for the Orwell Village School.
Recommendations of the SVUUSD Innovation Committee call for construction of a new middle school in Fair Haven and major upgrades to both Orwell Village School and Fair Haven Union High School. The SVUUSD serves children in Orwell, Castleton, Benson, Hubbardton, West Haven and Fair Haven. Orwell merged...
EMILY CASEY OF Orwell, will give a talk on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m., about her new collection of essays “Made Holy.” The conversation will take place at the Ilsley Library in Middlebury in conjunction with an exhibit of eight pieces of artwork done by Vermont artists to represent portions of one of Casey’s essays.
PHOTO / LESLIE TWITCHELL
ORWELL — Emily Casey didn’t always like essays.
“I had always thought of essays as boring, nature stories… that just didn’t appeal to me,” she said in a conversation last week. “But when I was in college other people were really pushing the boundaries of what an essay could be… Braided essays really spoke to me — with a theme weaving through thoughts.”
Casey, a 2012 MFA graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, didn’t always like telling the truth either.
“The publishing of my book ‘Made Holy’ coincided with the truth of telling about my own recovery,” she said. “The day the book...
LEGISLATORS FROM THE area recently visited pre-kindergarten programs in Middlebury and Orwell to see Vermont Universal Pre-K Program in action. Pictured, left to right, are: Meg Baker, pre-k coordinator for Addison County, Rep. Caleb Elder of Bristol, Sarah Kenney of Let’s Grow Kids, Linda January, director of Otter Creek Child Care Center in Middlebury, Rep. Kate Webb of Shelburne, Rep. Peter Conlon of Cornwall, Sen. Ruth Hardy of Middlebury and Rep. Jessica Brumsted of Shelburne.
MIDDLEBURY/ORWELL — A group of legislators from several committees last week visited pre-kindergarten programs in Middlebury and Orwell as they explored the current status of universal pre-k in Vermont and possible changes to the law that created it.
The group visited the public pre-k program in Middlebury at Mary Hogan Elementary School and private programs at Quarry Hill School, Otter Creek Child Care Center and Mary Johnson Childrens’ Center, as well as the MJCC pre-k program housed at the Orwell Elementary School.
The tour was organized by House Education Committee Chair Rep. Kate Webb of...