The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 1, 2009

Article 12: CCHS debt exclusion to fund facilities improvements

Chair Jerry Wedge told the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) on April 14 that Concord had passed an override for $750,000 for CCHS facilities at the ballot. This week the override also passed at Concord’s Town Meeting.

The CCHS funding request is also in Article 12 of the Carlisle Town Meeting Warrant, since both towns must agree on the regional high school budget. Carlisle’s portion will be approximately $225,000, based on its share of the enrollment.

Of the total, $500,000 will be used to replace worn out infrastructure such as carpets, furniture, toilet partitions and mechanical equipment and to extend the fire alarm system to the classrooms. The remaining $250,000 will go toward a planning study that will outline a lower-cost reconstruction project, if state funding is not available for construction of a new school building.

Assessment of facilities

Part of the planning funds will be used to assess the structural integrity of the building to see which part of the building can be saved. Wedge said Phase I will answer the question of whether past findings are still valid. Phase II will outline transformative work to CCHS so it can continue for a long period of time. He suggested that sections of the school could get renovated serially, which should make them more financially palatable.

McGinn wanted to be sure there would be a comparison of “the parts” versus a new building, “the parts” being these smaller projects that renovate a section of the school at a time. She pointed out that it might not be cheaper or reasonable to do the sectional renovations.

Wedge said there were other things to look at besides cost, such as MSBA participation and the economy. “This is not another study. [With this plan,] we are going to start to improve the high school.”

Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Operations John Flaherty said, “Ten million dollars will be needed in the next five years to keep the building going and that doesn’t improve the [academic] program.”

RSC member Louis Salemy, reached by phone later said, “It is imperative that Carlisle vote “Yes” at the Town Meeting and at the ballot.” This is a capital expenditure and both towns need to approve it for it to pass. ∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito