AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Amherst school officials said that the elementary schools are in dire need of repairs and the money to do them.

For several schools in Amherst, repairs are desperately needed.

"Our focus is making the class room environments comfortable and conducive to learning," said Amherst-Pelham Regional Supt. Michael Morris.

In order to do that, they need money.

In a preliminary capital request to the town, Morris told Western Mass News that they are asking for over $12 million to repair and maintain their three elementry schools.

Repairs needed range from heat and cooling systems to roofs, like the one at Wildwood Elementary School.

The entire proposal covers Wildwood, Fort River, and Crocker Farm schools.

Knowing many of these buildings were in poor condition, last March, the school board tried to pass a proposal to combine the three schools, but it failed.

"The project would have replaced both the Wildwood and Fort River schools...the two schools that are in the worst conditions. It did not pass the town, so our focus now is this is our current situation and how to improve things right now because if that did or didn't pass, we have students and teachers in these buildings and that's what need attending to," Morris explained.

Although the previous proposal failed, residents we talked to seem to agree education is where they want their tax dollars spent.

"Kids are our future and unless we fund that, who's going to pay for our Social Security, who's going to deal with the rest of the world?" said John Howard of Amherst.

Morris noted, "Again, I think there is a lot of urgency from folks within our community for some of the high priority items we're proposing, so I remain hopeful that the needs of our students and family and staff will be met.

Morris is hopeful the funds needed for improvements will come through.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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