The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 2, 2004


Carlisle School is running out of space

Carlisle School Buildings and Grounds Supervisor David Flannery explained at the June 16 Carlisle School Committee meeting that there may not be a way to accommodate Carlisle's Savoyard Light Opera Company in the Corey Auditorium this fall. Philip Drew, the producer of the Savoyard's fall musical, The Secret Garden, informed the School Committee that at this late date "it would be a disaster" if they were not able to use the Corey Auditorium.

All spaces used

"The Savoyards is a great group," said Flannery. "They are great to work with." But, he explained, the problem is the use of space at the school, especially the Corey Building, which he said has intensified. "All spaces are used on a daily basis," he explained. The music program, with two choral teachers and one instrumental teacher, are teaching without adequate classroom space. The band rehearses on the stage, so any use of the stage at night requires moving chairs, music stands, and instruments off the stage, and then placing them back on the stage the next morning. "The staff doesn't feel they can handle it," added Flannery. "You have to think of what you are asking the teachers to do." He pointed out the lack of storage, noting the elementary art room was once the music storage room.

School expansion on hold

More than a year ago the Carlisle School Building Committee recom-mended postponing plans to expand the school campus, citing the poor economy and the need to build the wastewater treatment plant to qualify for state funds. As the school population grows, though, the need for additional facilities becomes acute.

More storage a temporary solution

"The Savoyards go way back," said Superintendant of Carlisle Schools, Davida Fox-Melanson. "We regret all of this." Since storage of material is a major problem in sharing the stage space with the Savoyards, Flannery suggested renting a temporary storage unit. Drew said the Savoyards would be willing to bear additional expenses if it meant they could continue to perform in Carlisle. Additionally, he pointed out the scenery for the next play was minimal. Flannery said he would investigate temporary storage. "This suggests we wait one more year," said Fox-Melanson, and allow the Savoyards to use the Corey Auditorium again. "But," she warned, it may not be available again "unless something is done with the building project," meaning expanding the Carlisle School buildings.

No near-term solution

The school expansion project as proposed in 2003 would be broken into phases, which would spread out costs over several years and reduce the impact on school operations.

A review of the proposed building project, though, shows that the needed changes to accommodate groups like the Savoyards would still be many years off. There are four phases currently identified in the building project, and only in the fourth phase would the problems of the Corey Building be addressed.

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito