Twelve years ago, I had the privilege of attending Greater Lowell Technical High School.

During my four years there, I studied culinary arts under the direction of great teachers, including Paul Morin, Arnold Price, Sandra Day and the late Peter Coffin. The education I received prepared me well for the transition to college, where I earned my associate's degree in science.

The need for well-trained service and technical professionals is ever expanding. From traditional vocational-service fields, such as culinary arts, plumbing and carpentry, to technical arts trades, such as machine engineering, electronics and office technology, to human service fields, including early childhood education, medical assisting, and hotel management, Greater Lowell Technical High School provides education and training for these fields that are always desirable.

Over the years, Dracut has benefited from the training that Greater Lowell provides our children. For example:

Electrical: Rewiring and installation of air-conditioning units at the senior center.

Auto Tech: Painting of several police cruisers, as well as a firetruck.

Carpentry: Students built a screen house and two storage sheds for the Dracut Housing Authority.

Painting: Painted Town Hall.

Greater Lowell has given back $385,707 over the past 10 years toward transportation costs.

Greater Lowell's facility needs improvements to support the efficient operation of the physical plant and to maintain the educational programs provided by the school. I am writing this letter to support the renovation project at Greater Lowell Tech. I write this letter of support as a proud alumnus, a Dracut taxpayer, and an honored elected official (Dracut School Committee).

The Dracut public schools have an outstanding educational program. There are, however, certain subjects it cannot offer, like those listed above and others. The regionalization of vocational programs is an efficient way of supporting students who wish to pursue areas of study outside of the existing offerings of our community high schools.

This is just one of many reasons that I support the renovation project for Greater Lowell Tech. When it comes to the education of our young adults of Dracut, we need to work together to provide the best learning environment we can.

The total price for this project is $65,310,211. The MSBA reimbursement rate is 76.84 percent ($50,088,316), leaving a balance of $15,030,825, of which Dracut's cost is $3,124,909. Projects like these are proof of what our tax dollars can do. The community's financial obligation to its students who attend Greater Lowell is most efficiently met through support for the renovation project.

I ask that on Dec. 11, the voters of Dracut carefully consider the numerous advantages to our students and support the renovation project for Greater Lowell Tech.

MATTHEW J. SHEEHAN

Dracut