Letter to the Editor

Hampstead Continues to Grow and HCS is More Over-Crowded Than Ever
Submitted By Martha St. Jean   2-18-21

My husband and I have been Hampstead residents for 34 years. We moved here because we wanted to raise our children in a small-town, family-oriented community with very good schools, like we experienced during our childhoods in Massachusetts.

Our two children attended Hampstead schools/Pinkerton Academy between 1988 and 2004.  When our oldest began at Hampstead Central School, the most recent addition was just being finished.  Before renovating, school and maintenance supplies were stored in hallways to free up closets, which were being used to work with individual students.  New office space was made for the principal and administrative staff.  The addition also included an entry area with restrooms, leading to the multi-purpose cafeteria/gymnasium/music room with stage.  This was a good solution 35 years ago. Since then, Hampstead has continued to grow, as more families move here for reasons like ours. HCS is more over-crowded than ever.

This year represents the 6th time in 7 years that an HCS proposal has been brought before the town. I am confident that this year’s proposal (Articles 2 and 4 on this March’s ballot) makes solid financial sense, represents the best value we can get for our money, and offers the most practical design for future benefit to the school and the community. 

With bond rates at an all-time low (1%), it is imperative to approve Articles 2 and 4 and begin the long-needed building improvements. Local construction companies and labor will be used as much as possible.  The project will benefit our local economy.

As young parents, we were very appreciative for the community members of all ages who supported the schools through property taxes.  We are now retired and still enjoy making our home in this town.  We understand the continuing responsibility of being part of this community, and willingly support our town and schools through our property taxes. 

While our adult children do not live in Hampstead, many of their friends still live in town and have children in our schools.  I am a huge advocate for child development and quality education. All the town’s children deserve to have an opportunity to thrive in a secure, nurturing environment that allows for an optimal educational experience.  We can show our respect and support for the dedicated professionals who provide this education by maintaining high standards for the school environment.

As retirees with a limited income, we spend our money carefully and, like many others, prefer not to see increases on our tax bills.  The reality is that costs increase every year. 

As citizens of Hampstead, it is our responsibility to share the costs of maintaining this town’s quality of life.   It will require some careful budgeting for us, but we are willing the accept the relatively small increase on our monthly property tax bill as an investment in our great schools.

It is time for responsible Hampstead voters to show their support on March 9 by voting in favor of Articles 2 and 4 on the School Ballot.

Martha St. Jean, Hampstead Resident
















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