The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 7, 2010

Article 17: Minuteman Tech study

If building projects at the Carlisle Public School and the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School were not enough, the town will also decide upon authorization of funds for a feasibility study at the Minuteman Technical and Career Regional High School at Town Meeting (Article 17). The Selectmen unanimously support the Article.

Dr. Edward Bouquillon, superintendent-director of Minuteman, made an appearance at the April 27 meeting of the Carlisle Board of Selectmen to describe the requested school improvement feasibility study. This feasibility plan has qualified for 40% or more reimbursement by the state.

“Our feasibility study will begin with an enrollment study,” explained Bouquillon. He believes that due to the complexity of the membership agreement and the need to do an enrollment study, the feasibility study will take two years. Once completed, the school would seek approval from the state and member towns for design and construction funding for a building project.

Bouquillon says he needs to address concerns that the 16 member towns end up paying for the school building when 1/3 of attendees come from non-member towns. The three non-member towns sending the most students include Watertown, Waltham and Medford. Bouquillon has increased tuition for these towns as much as the state allows him every year, and at some point the number of students and costs will force a “tipping point” for restructuring the membership agreement.

The school has experienced flat enrollment in recent years, but “we seem to have turned a corner,” according to Bouquillon. He noted that applications from member towns are double what they were at this time last year. Increased school enrollment would also impact the building plans.

“I believe in this alternative school for kids who don’t relate to traditional high school,” said Selectman Chair Tim Hult. He noted that the Carlisle part of the enrollment has been very small, and the financial impact will be “tiny” on the town. He added that in his opinion the current physical structure needs serious attention, and even approaches being “dangerous.”

Bouquillon must obtain unanimous support from the 16 member towns to proceed. He said that five towns have already stepped forward to support the feasibility study. ∆

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito