Friday, April 28, 2006
Town Meeting Selectmen vote 4-1 to support Article 11 for CCHS improvements
Mike Fitzgerald of the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) presented the details of the $1.2M debt exclusion for the purposes of repair and renovation of the Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) at the April 25 meeting of the Board of Selectmen. Because Carlisle students make up under 1/3 of the enrollment, Carlisle's share of the bill would be approximately $325,000.
Article 11 is described in detail on page 4.
Chair Doug Stevenson questioned the wisdom of replacing the intercom system for $350,000 when it is presently capable of transmitting announcements to all rooms and lacks only the ability to receive messages from each teacher station. "Why can't they just use a cell phone?" he wondered. "Most teachers and kids have one and any emergency can be quickly reported via 911." This did not convince Fitzgerald, who countered that cell phone reception is not particularly good at the high school and "what if the battery is dead."
Stevenson then zeroed in on the $100,000 for lighting and asked for the estimated payback period for the more efficient lighting, considering that major reconstruction of the high school is planned in the next few years. Fitzgerald had no answer. Stevenson got the same response when he asked why $360,000 was needed to upgrade all doors with safety hardware when the school has over 100 external doors to allow emergency egress.
Tony Allison would prefer to move up some of the projects that are planned in 2008 and beyond. "Especially upgrading the heating system, which could provide immediate benefits due to the high cost of fuel." Fitzgerald defended the RSC priorities and timetable. This caused Stevenson to declare that he could not vote to recommend Article 11. The remaining selectmen did not follow suit, however, and the final vote was 4-1 to recommend the debt exclusion.
© 2006 The