Friday, October 26, 2007
Carlisle School Committee hears update on Highland
Representatives from the Carlisle Montessori School toured the Highland Building on Monday, October 22, as part of their search for new quarters for next year. Carlisle School Committee (CSC) member Michael Fitzgerald announced the inquiry at the October 17 CSC meeting. The Montessori School is currently located in the Saint Irene Church on East Street.
Fitzgerald said he had informed the Montesorri School of the magnitude of repairs needed to bring the Highland Building up to code.
The School Committee has asked the Board of Selectmen to create a task force to investigate future options for the structure (see related article in this issue).
School Committee member Dale Ryder said, "From my perspective if there is a group of people who want to pay for renovations, it would be better to have people in the building."
School Business Manager Heidi Zimmerman noted if funds are put into the renovation of the building, it may mean the building may not be moved in the near future. "There are a lot of ifs," agreed Fitzgerald. "Any organization would have to put significant money in," he added.
Public bidding process
Zimmerman explained that other groups would also be entitled to bid. "It will need to go through a public procurement process in which case you may restrict the use of that building to public purposes, and that could include businesses like Emerson and Montessori. Both would be allowed to compete in that RFP process. There may be other players out there."
Zimmerman said she and Fitzgerald had a meeting with Emerson Umbrella to define an "amicable timeframe to depart from the building." She said that Emerson would like the artists to depart expeditiously, but that the artists need more time to transition out of the building. Emerson is responsible for the cost of heating while the artists are using the building.
"We both agreed that December 31 would be ideal," Fitzgerald noted, but Emerson was not able to get a "buy in" from all the artists for that date. "Some of the artists pointed out that the December timeframe was a critical time for the sale of their artwork, as well as for family gatherings, and that Emerson was trying to respect that," Zimmerman said. Artists have asked formally for a January 31 deadline.
© 2007 The