So…you may have already seen the news.
There are some big plans coming together for Lamoille North and we’re excited to introduce to you the Lamoille North Cricket Hill Project.
This project has been several years in the making. The educational landscape across Vermont and the nation continues to shift and evolve and so must the offerings we have available to our students, staff, and communities. Our schools serve as the hearts of the six communities that make up Lamoille North. We work to educate and inspire the next generation of leaders, and our work is enriched by the support we receive from Cambridge to Eden to Hyde Park and every one of our towns in between.
To stay competitive with neighboring school districts, to offer our students what they need and what they expect of us, and to continue to be a sought-after employer by the best and brightest in public education, Lamoille North must push for progress. The Cricket Hill Project allows us to achieve these goals.
The Lamoille North Cricket Hill Project is anchored by five elements.
Cricket Hill Track & Field Facility
A key element of the Cricket Hill project is a new varsity-competition-level-certified Track & Field facility which will level the playing field for our student-athletes and expand the health and wellness offerings for our schools and communities. The track facility will feature a six-lane, rubberized track, dedicated jumping pits for the high, long, and triple jumps, and space for all throwing events including javelin, discus, and shotput.
These features will act as the new anchor of the Cricket Hill athletic hub which currently includes the Cricket Hill trail system (walking, mountain biking, XC running & skiing).
Lamoille Union Performing Arts Center
At Lamoille North, our continually successful, and growing Band, Chorus, and Dance programs compete for performance and practice space on our main auditorium stage. It's why a dedicated Performing Arts Center is another critical pillar of the Cricket Hill Project.
This space would be built between the High School and Middle School next to the current auditorium. This space will create more flexibility in our 750-seat auditorium, (allowing for more public use), will reduce the competition for program use of the main stage, and the new Performing Arts Center will act as a second venue for small-scale student performances.
Lamoille North Administrative & Early Education Center
For years, the Lamoille North Administrative team has been housed in a converted single-family home the district has outgrown. The building has been through several rounds of mold and air-quality remediation. Additionally, because of the building's size, members of the administrative team have needed to be housed in multiple Lamoille North school locations.
Bringing all of these team members back under one roof opens up important space in our schools, and increases the ability for the LNSU leadership team to collaborate and support the work across our school community.
As this is a building for our communities, the new Cricket Hill building would house public bathrooms and locker rooms to support the track and sporting events and would also house a new Early Education program.
There is a deficit of childcare and early education opportunities across Vermont. The Cricket Hill Project would see the creation of a 40-student Early Education Center that would be managed by Green Mountain Technology & Career Center educators and students as part of a new early education & teaching program offered by the Tech Center. While the Early Ed and administrative spaces will be housed under one roof, the Early Ed center will have its own dedicated parking and entrance for parents and families.
The addition of this space to the Cricket Hill Project directly addresses a longstanding and growing problem in our region and helps to make Lamoille North a more competitive employer and workplace.
Lamoille Union High School Bathroom Renovation
Other than small, surface-level changes, the bathrooms at the High School haven't been updated in years. Over that time, the flow of students through the hallways has changed, as well as the challenges our school staff face amongst our student body. The updated design of two (2) sets of bathrooms in the High School will reduce the amount of time students spend congregating in them, will reduce issues like vaping and vandalism, and will lessen the amount of time High School staff need to spend monitoring these areas.
Rounding out the Cricket Hill Project are equally important enhancements to the Lamoille Union Campus. The project includes a resurfacing of the crumbling sidewalks and parking lots, the build-out of a new classroom in the Middle School to support the expansion of the school's health and wellness team, and refurbishments to the GMTCC roof, which has seen an increase in leaks, round-out the necessary enhancement and restoration projects for our campus.
Addressing Current Challenges
Lamoille North prides itself on keeping our facilities and resources in good working order, thanks again in large part to our skilled facilities team and community support. That said, these district enhancements are needed, and the time is now to make them happen.
The Cricket Hill Project touches upon some of the state’s, the region’s, and the school district’s longest-running hurdles - lack of childcare, more access to public health and wellness facilities, an increase in demand for educational space, safety and security, and more. We feel this project is a win-win for all.
Price and Impact on You
Months of discussions among our school staff, students, and School Board have led to the current project elements. While several rounds of design work have already happened and been approved by the Lamoille North School Board, refinements will continue to be made. We continue to look for ways to ‘future-proof’ these investments, to make sure they serve our school community for decades to come, and to make sure we anticipate potential future changes and improvements.
As of May 2023, the current parts of the Cricket Hill Project combine for a total price tag of $13 million to $16 million.
If the Cricket Hill Project is approved by voters, based on current bond rates, the estimated annual tax increase to a home value of $100,000 would be about $50. (A $175,000 home would see an estimated annual tax increase of $88 per year)
We’re excited for the next few months. You’ll see Lamoille North administrators and school leaders out in your communities showcasing this project, discussing its importance, and why the time is now to make these investments for our communities.
We’ll soon be communicating to our communities about upcoming informational sessions, places you can go to learn more about the project and its elements, and ultimately when to head to your local polling location to cast your vote.
Building the Future
Our students deserve every opportunity we can provide them. The Cricket Hill Project expands what we can do for our students, and what we can provide to our communities. Child care for staff members and local families, a new career path for students at the Tech Center, modern health and wellness facilities for our student-athletes and Lamoille County as a whole, and a boost for our growing performing arts programs are, together, the focus of the Cricket Hill project. This effort symbolizes the future of Lamoille North. We cannot wait to see it become a reality.
** The drawings shown here are subject to change as the design process continues. **