Tuesday, August 20, 2013

School Committee has work to do

The School Building Committee meeting effectively covered two topics; the first an  update on the high school project, the second the results of the "Feasibility Study" for Davis Thayer Elementary School.

The School Building Committee did not make a recommendation.They feel that would be in the realm of the School Committee to decide first what it wanted to do and bring their proposal through the budget process ultimately to the Town Council for their decision. Other than Tom Mercer, chair of the School Building Committee, no member of the Town Council appeared to hear the presentation.

To summarize the three options:
  • address accessibility issues - $4.6M
  • add to and renovate facility - $23M
  • build new school - $28M
Davis Thayer: water runoff 1
the water runoff across the playground is one of the many items that could be addressed

To address just the accessibility issues would leave the facility with some items that would still need to be addressed at some time. The sound bite quoted in my notes and in the MDN article referenced a "bad Band-Aid". To decide on the addition/renovation would be rather costly for the 350 students that the school serves. To build a new school is not that much different and more costly.

The School Committee will need to decide what to do first. How does the building fit in their overall  plans? Where would the students be placed if the building was removed from the system? These and other questions along this line of thought would be the School Committee's responsibility to answer first. Then they would bring their proposal through the budget process ultimately to the Town Council and depending upon the money and funding sources, the taxpayers would have their say.

The details of the high school project status can be found here

The details of the Davis Thayer topic can be found here