hears Lake Parkway safety concern
Local aid cuts not expected to affect schools
by Charles Kelleher Harris
WEBSTER- Assistant Superintendent Ted Avlas says that the new Park Avenue School building project is on track and moving ahead.
"We are on time," Avlas told the Webster School Committee last week Monday, "Things look good going forward."
According to Avlas' report the building committee recently met to discuss the new technology that will be utilized by both staff and students.
This technology includes video surveillance and security equipment.
Avlas said that around $900,000 has been designated for the school's technological equipment.
However, Avlas explained that because the school won't be completed until late 2015 it was not possible to preselect equipment, since any current equipment would be outdated by the school’s scheduled opening.
"It's difficult to come up with a set plan," Avlas said.
The school committee went on to discuss the recent announcement by Governor Deval Patrick that there would be cuts to local funds because of a recently discovered state deficit.
Avlas spoke to the areas of education that were being affected by cuts, but was happy to reveal that Webster Public Schools would be relatively unscathed.
"This doesn't really have an impact on us," Avlas told the committee, "We're fortunate in that."
Concerned citizen Jillian Peters was also present at the meeting to address her safety concerns.
"I feel with the recent death on Lake Parkway, now is the time to address these issues," said Peters, adding, "Our children walk to school on this road with no sidewalks. They also have no crosswalks."
Peters' other concerns included poor lighting, the designation of school zones and reduced speed areas.
This is not Peters’ first stop in town. Recently she went before Webster Board of Selectmen with the same concerns.
According to Peters she also met with Webster Police Chief Timothy Bent earlier this year.
"I've been to everyone and it's fallen on deaf ears," Peters told the school committee.
"It's important that you are here because kids are our concern," said school committee Chairman Michael Makara. "[But] ultimately the decision on this comes down to the Board of Selectmen."
Avlas said, however, that the school committee could make an official written recommendation to the town safety committee, of which Avlas is a member.
A motion was made and passed to write an official recommendation to review Peters’ concerns and to attach a copy of her letter as well.