The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 9, 2009

State aid possible for limited CCHS building project

On September 30, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) announced that Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) is invited to enter the Feasibility Study Phase for building projects eligible for potential funding. However, according to Regional School Committee (RSC) and CCHS Master Plan Committee member Jerry Wedge, the feasibility study is for repairs rather than new construction. The MSBA web site ( lists CCHS as one of eight schools asked to do feasibility studies for repair projects.

Members of the RSC attended a meeting with the MSBA Executive Director Katherine Craven last week along with presentations from many other schools. Wedge said Craven made three points regarding a future Concord-Carlisle school building project. Wedge said she mentioned a figure of $37 million worth of repairs, yet he was unsure how that number had been determined. The last CCHS school building feasibility study was completed in 2005. Work on a new CCHS master plan began recently, with the hiring of OMR, Inc. architects in September.

Second, Craven said there was still an opportunity to think about regionalizing with the Town of Maynard. The RSC had discussed this with Maynard over the last few months but it was determined the two towns would not regionalize at this time (see “Request to study regionalization,” Mosquito, September 25.)

Lastly, while Wedge said the MSBA would rather not talk about new construction, there was a possibility that the state would consider renovation as well as repairs. Wedge said the MSBA announced at that meeting that 14 projects in the $30-120 million range would move forward. Another 15 to 20 schools would move into the feasibility study phase for renovations. CCHS fell into a third category for feasibility studies on repairs.

While he was not sure what project the state will be willing to support, Wedge said the Regional School District would be meeting with the MSBA in the near future to discuss how to proceed. “We are optimistic that the state is willing to partner with us.”

RSC member Louis Salemy was reached by email for his reaction on the news. He said, “I think that it shows that the Concord administrative team is really working hard and doing all that it can to get the MSBA funding.” He was happy that the towns are funding the CCHS master plan effort.

Superintendent Diana Rigby said at a parents meeting Tuesday night that the MSBA has finally taken CCHS off the “hold” list. “We’ve been invited to the dance, but we’re not sure what we’re doing yet.” (See also Editorial, page 2.)∆

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito