The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 18, 2007


Carlisle School to present building options

The Carlisle School Building Committee is making plans for two upcoming forums on Thursday, May 31, to gather community input about the proposed building project at the school. The committee currently hopes to request building design funds this fall for a new addition. Superintendent Marie Doyle said she recently met with members of the Council on Aging to discuss the project.

The new building would replace the 50-year-old Spalding Building that received the poorest rating from the state in a survey of school buildings last year, indicating it is a "candidate for replacement." Spalding now contains kindergarten and first-grade classes and the Concord Area Special Education Collaborative (CASE) classroom. Repairs on Spalding would cost well over $1 million for a new roof, new heating system, and other necessary building maintenance, according to a draft estimate prepared by David Flannery.

The committee plans to show three options for the building design. Option 1, the least costly, replaces Spalding with a new building to contain: four kindergarten rooms, four first grade rooms, one World Language room, several smaller rooms for Special Education, and school administration offices. Option 2 replaces Spalding with a new building that includes all of Option 1, plus: the preschool room, four second grade rooms, one elementary art room, one elementary music room, storage areas, and a conference room. Option 3, the most costly, includes all of the previous rooms, plus: a large multipurpose room that can also be used by the community, a new gymnasium room, three more World Language rooms, and a room configured for Technology/Engineering classes.

Depending on the design chosen, the new building would connect to the Corey Building and possibly to the Wilkins Building. Costs for the project depend on the option chosen, within a wide range that is currently between approximately $12-25 million.

It is not clear if and when Carlisle will receive aid from the Massachusetts School Building Assistance Bureau (MSBA), though the school expects about a 40% reimbursement when the project is approved. The school submitted a Statement of Interest application to the MSBA and is waiting to see if it makes the list of projects approved by the state later this year.

With state school building funds for new projects set to resume in July, after fiscal reform and a moratorium of several years, school districts across the state are waiting to see if their project is approved. If the project is not approved, the school must file an application for reimbursement again each year.

Though the school has applied to the state for reimbursement, the building committee is not convinced that waiting for state funds is necessarily the best way to go. The school maintains that construction costs continue to escalate at a high annual rate and delays will increase the project cost.

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito