The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 14, 2010

Article 17: TM okays Minuteman feasibility study

Voters unanimously supported Article 17, to fund a feasibility study for Minuteman Career and Technical High School at Annual Town Meeting on Monday evening. Carlisle is one of 16 member towns, all of which must agree to support the article for the study to proceed. Approval of the article will allow Minuteman to borrow up to $725,000 for the study. A 40% reimbursement from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) is expected. Carlisle is responsible for 1.7% or roughly $7,000 over five years. This debt exclusion is contingent upon passage of Ballot Question 2 on May 18.

Board of Selectman Chair Tim Hult, who had recently toured the school said, “There is no doubt in my mind that a significant upgrade needs to be made to the facility.” A video produced by Minuteman was viewed. It stated that the Minuteman facility has not had a major renovation in 20 years.

Hult said, “Only a small number of students from Carlisle attend the school.” He said the board supports the Article, but there is an issue with enrollment between member and non-member towns that must be addressed. “Currently there is a substantial percentage of students at Minuteman that come from towns outside the 16-member towns.” Hult wants non-member towns with students at the school to contribute to any renovation project.

In a May 3 letter to Minuteman Regional School District Superintendent-Director Ed Bouquillon, MSBA Director of Capital Planning Mary Pichetti outlines the next steps toward a renovation project and states the importance of resolving the following questions: the enrollment of both member and non-member towns, the need to provide equity among members, the possible expansion of membership and the review of the basic educational program as well as potential new programs.

The Board of Selectmen, the Finance Committee and the Long-Term Capital Requirements Committee supported this article. There was no discussion from the floor.

At least five towns have already stepped forward to support the feasibility study. ∆

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