The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, December 16, 2005


Shorts from the Carlisle School Committee, December 7

Move Highland Building? According to the HMFH architect working on the draft plans for the update of the Carlisle School facility, the cost of repairs to upgrade the Highland Building for use as an educational facility would be approximately $2.5 million, reported School Committee Member Christy Barbee, who is also a member of the School Building Committee.

Though the building is of historic and emotional significance to the town, she knew of no state or federal reimbursement funds available to renovate the facility. Barbee said she is waiting for a "statement or direction" from the School Committee on the Highland Building. The committee agreed it was impractical to update the facility and also agreed the land the Highland Building sits on must be involved in the plans for updating the Carlisle School. Barbee said Martha Bedrosian, of Bedford Road, has expressed interest in moving the building and renovating it. Barbee said the idea was just recently expressed, and does not represent a firm request to purchase the building. The Building Committee will continue to hold discussions to determine the future of the building.

Furnace problems. "The furnace is acting up," reported Carlisle School Superintendent Marie Doyle. The school has two furnaces, which normally heat the facility on alternating days. The larger of the two furnaces is not functioning properly, at one point causing the school to run out of water due to a broken pipe. "We can't afford to shut the school down if the boiler breaks," said Carlisle School Committee member Michael Fitzgerald. "And we can't operate the school at sixty degrees." Carlisle School Committee member Wendell Sykes suggested replacing the furnace with a larger unit that could "carry the load of the whole system." Approximate replacement cost is around $70,000, said Doyle. "David [Flannery] works miracles with these facilities," said Fitzgerald, "but it's time to let this one go." Carlisle School Business Manager Steven Moore said he is "letting the Carlisle Finance Committee know the Carlisle School Committee plans to replace the furnace."

Budget planning. Moore gave an update on the FY07 preliminary budget, which is not yet finalized due to unknowns such as the pending bus contract, pending teacher contract negotiations, potential changes in the middle school structure, and additional special education costs. The targeted date for the bus contract is December 21. Proposed new initiatives that may be included in the budget include an Early Intervention Tutor ($21,000 - $56,000), Technology Support ($25,000), Activity Coordinator ($2,500), DARE ($5,000) and unknown costs for the state-mandated ELL (English Language Learners) Program.

World Language. The school has received a three-year grant from the Carlisle Education Foundation which will enable the school to offer Spanish and Chinese in kindergarten through fifth grade. Doyle reported, "The struggle is how to realign the curriculum. We're not ready to offer [elementary] language yet." A pilot program of Chinese and Spanish will be offered in the fifth grade starting in January, Doyle said, but when asked when she expects foreign language in the other elementary grades she said, "September, perhaps."

Banta-Davis development. Recreation Commission member Norman Lind and Recreation Director Cindy Nock presented detailed plans for creating additional sports fields (baseball, softball, soccer, tennis) on the Banta-Davis Land. RecCom hopes to bring the plan to Town Meeting next spring. The School Committee reacted favorably to the plan.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito