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122WVN #122: High School Space Needs Discussed

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  • waylandvoters
    Nov 4, 2005
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      Wayland Voters Network
      November 4, 2005

      Dear Wayland Voter,
      The next meeting of the School Committee will be on November
      7 at 7:30 in the School Committee meeting room upstairs in the
      Town Building.

      Voters may interested in reviewing the Fiscal 2007 Ad Hoc
      Budget Advisory Committee Agendas and Minutes at
      http://www.wayland.ma.us/fy07ahbac/index.htm . This is the
      group trying to come up with strategies to avoid an override next
      year.

      These notes from the regular meeting of the School Committee
      on October 24 were contributed by Tom Sciacca:

      High School Space Needs- Principal Charlie Ruopp and Vice
      Principal Allyson Mizoguchi met with the School Committee to
      report on the space situation at the high school. Short term, there
      will be about thirty more kids in the next two years. WVN readers
      will recall from the high school building debate that 2007
      represented a high point for the high school population, after
      which it was expected to plateau or decline. This creates a need
      for one or two more classrooms. The two new modular science
      labs approved by Town Meeting last spring, and expected to be
      in operation in September, are not yet installed but probably will
      be by Christmas. The current plans will get the high school
      through the next two to three years, according to Ruopp, with
      Waycam space usable for potential expansion if more students
      materialize than currently expected.

      In the longer run, however, the problems the administration
      pointed out in last year's proposal debate remain the same. This
      was highlighted by the recent report from the New England
      Association for Schools and Colleges Accreditation which cited a
      number of building deficiencies. See
      http://www.wayland.k12.ma.us/admin/schoolcomm/meet0506/..\.
      .\..\high_school\main_office\neasc.html
      The organization is requiring a plan of action to address the
      problems. According to Assistant Superintendent Wayne Ogden,
      they will prioritize health, safety, and accessibility issues first.

      The committee decided to wait for the results of the High School
      Building Committee survey in December and the state
      reimbursement guidelines expected in January before working
      on a response. Several members expressed optimism that the
      combination of available reimbursement with a somewhat
      downsized project proposal, along with the prod of the
      accreditation organization's criticisms, might lead to ultimate
      town approval of a high school building project.

      Budget Drivers- The Fincom has asked the Committee to
      propose a budget 4% lower than this year's budget to do its part
      in avoiding an override next spring. However, Superintendent
      Gary Burton believes a 4% increase will be needed to provide
      the same level of services next year as this year. He proposed to
      develop two budgets, one to maintain services and one to meet
      the Fincom request. The School Committee will compare the two
      and decide how to proceed. Member Louis Jurist said "It's
      necessary to frighten people". The group clearly assumed that
      meeting the Fincom budget would involve unacceptable levels of
      cutting, but some middle ground between no cuts and "no
      override" cuts might be acceptable.

      Lawsuit- Burton reported that papers have been served on all
      parties involved in the remaining issues with the Middle School
      boilers which are preventing the final completion of the Middle
      School renovation. However, the boilers are continuing to
      function.


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      Wayland Voters Network
      Margo Melnicove and Michael Short, Editors