By Thomas D’Agostino
Almost 300 residents watched a twenty minute presentation and listened to the proposal and cost to replace the old Park Ave. Elementary School in Webster.
The Special Town Meeting took place Monday, June 11, in the Bartlett High School Auditorium where School Committee Chairman Michael Makara and Superintendent, Gregory Ciardi spoke on the issue.
The old school has been an issue for some time. Space is a problem, the heating and ventilation systems are fifty years old and inefficient, the structure itself is no longer in code with modern regulations. The Massachusetts School Building Authority has already granted the town with a 76.86% reimbursement for the project that will cost about $47, 050,000. After non-reimbursement items and cost to upgrade the middle school, taxpayers will pay about $16,169,263 for the new school. Both Mr. Makara and Mr. Ciardi stated that the MSBA reimbursement was for the present and will go away if not acted on.
If the town were to vote the article down, the old school would need about 19.88 million in repairs and maintenance just to bring it up to code. This would not address the fact that the school is still outdated and would need replacing sooner or later anyway. This is also coupled with the fact that Webster’s schools fall into a grade situation not conducive to proper learning and growth for the children. The present system uses a K-2 elementary school, 3-6 for the middle school and 7-12 high school. The new system would reconfigure grades: PK-4 in new building, 5-8 at current middle school and 9-12 at Bartlett.
The vote for a new school passed unanimously with a large applause from the crowd.
Articles 3 and 4 in regard to zoning were ruled out of order for lack of completion.
- Wednesday, 13 June 2012
- Posted in Categories: : News