The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 10, 2005


CCHS Feasibility Study Committee Committee questions CCHS population projections

At a joint meeting on May 24, the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee and the C-C Feasibility Study Committee expressed concern about the projected number of students that architects have been using in working on plans CCHS space planning. All the plans are based on a ten-year projected population number of 1,350 students.

John Flaherty, Director of Finance and Operations at CCHS, said the enrollment projection was based on birth rates. A new way to determine projected population has recently been incorporated which takes into account housing developments, but that data won't be useful for a few years. Flaherty felt "The 1,350 number will still be adequate."

Principal Art Dulong, who is a member of the Feasibility Study Committee, showed concern stating "That as of this morning [May 24], 1280 students were signed up for the fall." CCRSC member Michael Fitzgerald, who is also on the CCHS Feasibility Committee, pointed out, "that 40B is looming in Carlisle." Kansas Wight, a Concord resident in the audience, asked if the 80-unit 40B project in West Concord and the 50-unit 40B project in Concord had been accounted for in the 1,350 number.

Hugh Lauer, who was recently on the Concord Finance Committee and has been on other committees involved with building schools in Concord, said that they had expected to see a decrease of 100 kids in the Concord Middle School that never materialized. This was based on a five-year, not ten-year projected population. He went on to say that he has been seeing lots of pregnant women and strollers in town. "I didn't see this for fifteen years. I think there's a skew in the population. I think 1,350 is a little bit on the light side."

"We may miss the target of 85% utilization rate," said Fitzgerald. Consultant Phil Poinelli of the architectural firm Symmes, Maini and McKee Associates (SMMA) said, "The first increase is in the number of students per class. Influx will disturb the 22 students per class ratio that has been set as a maximumThe state looks at projections. The town may add up to 5% over that" and still be eligible for reimbursement.

The issue of the correct projected population was brought up again at the Feasibility Committee meeting on May 31. After some discussion, it was decided that this number was reasonable for the time being. Poinelli said, "The reality of the potential impact is relatively small. If there were 50 extra students, that wouldn't effect a single classroom. One hundred extra students would start to affect the number of classrooms. We can get new numbers when the schematic design is started."

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito