The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 27, 2009

School Building Committee seeks $450,000 TM Warrant

On February 12, the Carlisle School Building Committee (SBC) voted unanimously to recommend the Selectmen draft a Town Meeting Warrant Article for a debt exclusion of $450,000 for the next phase of the Carlisle School renovation project. These funds will be used for schematic design and associated costs of the replacement of the Spalding Building and renovations. The debt exclusion is expected to be brought to voters at the Town Meeting in May.

SBC Chair Lee Storrs started the meeting with an update from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). Earlier this winter the SBC had postponed bringing the project before voters until they had more information from the MSBA. Since then, the state has agreed that Carlisle may base the project on a future enrollment projection of 700. However, the SBC is still waiting to hear from MSBA on the Education Specification they had sent in. Also, there is still disagreement between the two groups on the total square footage of the project. Part of this is due to the fact that the MSBA is still working out the “Gross Factor for Renovations” calculation. The MSBA has said that it would provide the information in the next two weeks. It is still unclear whether the state will reimburse the town for a proposed multi-purpose room included in the design.

The committee reviewed the reasons for replacing Spalding rather than renovating it: The building is 52 years old and the MSBA has rated it a “4,”indicating it is in poor condition and suitable for replacement. In addition, the MSBA does not reimburse renovations to wooden buildings, and the Spalding Building is partially wood. If the MSBA declined to fund Spalding repairs, it would mean a loss of 40% of the funding for that part of the project. Also, current educational guidelines recommend larger classrooms.

Much of the meeting was devoted to determining a broad outreach strategy to reach different constituencies in town with information about the building project. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito