Slate Valley Innovation Project: Building Our Future Together


The Slate Valley Unified Union School Board established a committee consisting of board members, staff, and community members to develop a plan that would expand educational opportunities for students and help address the financial burden of growing deferred maintenance needs.  

Between October of 2018 and August of 2019, this committee explored the challenges facing our district and formed a report with several different options for the consideration of the board. On October 14, 2019, the Slate Valley Unified Union School Board voted to move forward with the full scope of the project. As a result of this decision, the board is prepared to warn for a bond in the spring of 2020.

High School  

  • Address the code/safety issues
  • Address the infrastructure issues
  • Renovate the existing facility 

Middle School  

  • Construct an integrated, but autonomous middle school facility on the existing high school site


Specifications for the Orwell portion of the project were established in collaboration with the Orwell Town Hall Committee.

  • Code/safety
  • Infrastructure
  • Gym/cafeteria addition

Why an Innovation Project? 

The Slate Valley Innovation Project is grounded in two immediate challenges facing the schools in our district:

  • Our schools are not structured to fully support the educational goals expressed in our district mission and vision
  • Our facilities (in varying degrees) have immediate needs related to aging infrastructure

To address these challenges, the project would:

  • Update learning spaces to align with district mission/vision:
    • Expand educational opportunities
    • Ensure equity for all students in district
  • Address aging infrastructure:
    • Code/safety issues
    • Deferred maintenance
  • Achieve greater efficiency:
    • Improve operational efficiency
    • Work with Efficiency Vermont to improve energy efficiency: windows, LED lighting, biomass heating

High School/Middle School

  • Core Infrastructure/Deferred Maintenance: HVAC replacement, electrical upgrade, plumbing upgrade, ADA compliance, kitchen facility upgrade, interior lighting (LED), bathrooms, elevator 
  • Renovate existing building to fully support the educational goals expressed in our district mission and vision 
  • Construct an integrated, but autonomous middle school facility on the existing high school site 


  • Gym/cafeteria replacement 
  • Kitchen replacement 
  • HVAC upgrade 
  • Roof 
  • Oil tanks 
  • Windows 


  • Upgraded athletic locker and team rooms 
  • Turf LaPlaca Field (increased use, extended season)
  • Additional instructional/athletics/practice space
  • Additional field space
  • Additional parking

Locating an integrated, but autonomous middle school at the high school will expand opportunities for athletics in Slate Valley. However, the fields at the high school are already heavily used. An increase in usage will exceed the limitations of the current field space. Therefore, a turf field is being considered as a potential solution.


  • Middle School: Fall 136, Winter 172, Spring (estimated) 103
  • High School: Fall 131, Winter 113, Spring 107

Performing Arts

  • Instructional space (music, theater, dance, etc.)
  • Practice areas
  • Exhibition/presentation space
  • Flexible seating allows for multiple use configurations
  • Increased instructional opportunities for arts, presentations, etc.
  • Improved experience for audience
  • Community gathering space

For the Fine and Performing Arts, the Innovation Project would be a tremendous upgrade from our current facilities. The creation of new space provides an opportunity for flexibility in teaching middle and high school classes.

This project would allow us to be more inclusive and give a voice to those that need different opportunities in learning as we continue to be flexible and tailor our educational programs to the personalized educational paths the students choose for themselves. 

Energy Efficiency

  • LED lighting
  • Biomass heating
  • Windows
  • HVAC replacement
For more information on the Innovation Project, please visit the project page on our website.