The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 16, 2009

State looks to Obama economic aid, asks Carlisle for “shovel-ready” projects

In case federal economic stimulus funds become available for state and local infrastructure improvements, the state asked Massachusetts towns to submit a list of “ready to go” projects by January 8. Carlisle submitted the following for consideration: replacement of the Spalding School Building and renovations to other school buildings, the repair and restoration of the Gleason Library façade and a request for funds to construct a 40,000-gallon water storage cistern at the Fire Station. There were no details available on the types of financial support that may be offered.

The day before applications were due, Superintendent Marie Doyle described the opportunity to the Carlisle School Committee. “The government wants projects that would have a shovel in the ground within 18 months.” The school completed two separate applications the next day, School Building Committee Chair Lee Storrs said later by email, “One project was for the $4.5 million in repairs and the second project was for the $15 million for the new school construction. We split them up because of the emphasis on being shovel-ready, which we feel we could do for the repairs, but would not be able to do for the school.”

According to Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie, the fire cistern is expected to cost roughly $100,000. No final estimates will be available for the library restoration work until a structural analysis is completed.

McKenzie said the town will contact U.S. Representative Nikki Tsongas as well as State Representative Cory Atkins and State Senator Susan Fargo and ask for their support of the funding applications.

Other municipal projects such as Greenough dam repair or restoration of the Highland Building were not included. Asked if there was a reason why Highland was not on the list, McKenzie said, “Not that I can think of.” However, she noted that there was very little time to prepare the applications. Some town committees did not have a chance to discuss it at their meetings before the deadline.

In addition, the Concord-Carlisle Regional School District (RSD) submitted five funding requests totaling about $5.5 million for renovation projects at the regional high school. These include: $250,000 for improved fire detection systems for classrooms; $250,000 for auditorium and office renovations (replace air conditioning compressor, carpeting and fire-proof auditorium curtains); $3.5 million to replace roofs originally installed in 1984; $300,000 to replace single-pane window systems with more energy efficient construction; and $1.16 million for heating, ventilation and air conditioning improvements throughout the facility. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito