Friday, February 12, 2010
Special Town Meeting, Election set for April
The town will review the Carlisle Public School proposed building and renovation project at a Special Town Meeting on April 5 with a Special Election on April 13, one month ahead of the town’s Annual Town Meeting and Election already planned and scheduled for May. Lee Storrs, Chair of the Carlisle School Building Committee, based his request for the meeting primarily on schedule projections. He believed the extra month could facilitate project completion in time for the school year commencing in the fall of 2012. The Selectmen unanimously decided to schedule the April events.
“It is a significant thing to ask people to come out twice,” said Board of Selectman Chair Tim Hult recognizing the inconvenience to townspeople. He requested assurance from Storrs that the committee had planned work for the month following the meeting and vote and that there would not be a “lull.” Storrs assured him that there would be a jump on getting the bid document in place and sending it out by November with a 40-day response time.
Selectmen Doug Stevenson supported the plan, and touched on possible construction savings in commencing the project earlier, but stressed the importance in supporting the “momentum” being experienced by the committee. The group found itself energized after the formal offer from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) in January to reimburse the town $6,988,637 or 40% of the project costs. The Carlisle project includes the replacement of the old Spalding Building with a new structure to house 13 classrooms for grades pre-K to grade 2, administrative offices as well as new assembly space for a choral room, and renovation to other campus buildings.
Hult agreed, but stressed the importance of communication in gaining support from the town prior to going to the ballot box. He noted speaking with townspeople who usually supported education and said they were wondering if the town needed “building at the school when the population is going down?”
In a related vote, the Selectmen authorized an amount not to exceed $5,400 to produce a 3-D model of the building project showing the proposed grading and landscaping. The funds will come from the $450,000 allotment already set aside by the town determining the building project’s feasibility. Storrs expects almost $100,000 to be left over from the schematic design appropriation. (See related article, above.) ∆
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