The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 11, 2010

CCHS feasibility study gets final go-ahead

Funding for the Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) renovation feasibility study and schematic design were approved by a 4-1 margin at Concord’s Special Town Election on Tuesday, June 8, passing the last hurdle needed for the work to go forward. There were 1,809 votes in favor and 450 against, with about 19% of Concord voters participating. Approvals had already been given about a month ago by Concord’s Town Meeting, as well as Carlisle’s Annual Town Meeting and Election.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) has stated that the $1.3 million study and design work will be eligible to receive up to 31% reimbursement. Based on its share of the high school enrollment, Carlisle will be responsible for approximately 28% of the net expenses after reimbursement, or roughly $250,000. Once the schematic designs are completed, the two towns will be asked to vote construction funding.

At the Concord-Carlisle Regional School Committee (RSC) meeting on June 8, Superintendent Diana Rigby announced that MSBA has recently certified a CCHS enrollment figure of 1,225. Reaching agreement on enrollment projections is a necessary pre-condition in order to obtain future financial assistance with a school building project. The 2009-10 in-district enrollment is 1,246, down slightly from 1,268 the previous year. RSC Chair Louis Salemy said that negotiations had been cordial and agreement was reached quickly, “We began at 1,250 and ended at 1,225 and that’s pretty close.”

Earlier in the year, the state had voiced interest in providing aid for a CCHS repair project significantly smaller than the renovation and expansion plan recommended by the CCHS Master Plan completed in March. The state will review the master plan and meet with school officials. RSC member Jerry Wedge said, “MSBA said they are very excited to be working with us.” The RSC hopes the MSBA will reclassify the project as a renovation, possibly as soon as next month.

The feasibility study and schematic design will be supervised by a CCHS school building committee, to be formed by the RSC. It will include school and town officials, as well as members-at-large from Carlisle and Concord. The RSC expects to ask for volunteers in the near future. Rigby said,“We will solicit for community members to serve” on the new committee. ∆

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito