Friday, June 29, 2001
Banta-Davis Land targeted for new school building
Architects who studied the need for expansion of the Carlisle School and the options for siting the new facility presented their preliminary report to the Carlisle School Committee (CSC) on June 19. HKT Architects Inc. of Somerville (HKT) were retained after the 2000 Annual Town Meeting voted $15,000 for architectural, engineering and other professional services for a feasibility study. The same firm completed the construction of the Grant Building in 1998.
Earlier the CSC had determined that it was necessary to form a school building committee and consider school explansion as increasing enrolloments began to strain the capacity of the present school complex. According to the HKT report, enrollment is now at 819 and this number is expected to increase by a minimum of an additional 100 students over the next five years.
A key point of their presentation was HKT's conclusion that the Banta-Davis Land is the best site for a second school complex, for both availability of space and economic reasons. They had considered the difficulties of enlarging the present facility, including parking problems at the present campus and crowding of the outdoor play areas.
Both the slope area between Spalding Field and the school as well as the Spalding Field itself, part of the current school campus, were considered as possible expansion sites but were rejected because of severe site restrictions due to wetlands, the present need for the use of the space (Spalding Field) and the high cost of wall buttressing and building on sloping land.
The 29 acres of the Banta-Davis Land can accommodate the construction a new pre-K through Grade 2 facility to house approximately 330 students. The HKT report estimates the cost to be approximately $13,000,000 for the construction of a new educational facility; which includes the new construction, site development, furnishings and equipment and "soft costs."
The school building committee determined that relocating the youngest students would be the most cost-effective, to avoid duplicating science labs, speciality class rooms, foreign language labs, the auditorium and the gym that are needed for the older students.
The feasibility report also includes the design for wastewater treatment facilities and leaching fields for the entire school complex on the Banta-Davis Land, at an estimated cost of approximately $1,100,000. The town has an approximately $350,00 balance remaining from the monies appropriated for the Grant Building in 1998, which had been targeted for an upgrade of the old septic system.
CSC chair Suzanne Whitney Smith stressed that although the report seemed detailed, it is "just an idea. Anything can change." CSC member Paul Morrison agreed saying, "The footprints are in the report but we should not get hung up on details. It is a verypreliminary outline." The school committee also agreed that they need to coordinate their effortd with the recreation commission.
The Carlisle School Building Committee has requested that the selectmen appoint Michael Fitzgerald and Paul Morrison, school committee liaison, to their committee.
© 2001 The Carlisle Mosquito