WVN #32: SC Discusses Adding Pool to New High School
- Wayland Voters Network
September 1, 2004
Dear Wayland Voter:
The following report on last week's School Committee meeting was
prepared by WVN subscriber Tom Sciacca. You will soon receive
another newsletter on last week's public forum on the high school
project. A recording of the public forum (by tireless volunteer
Richard Turner) will be broadcast tonight, Sept. 1, on the Wayland
Cable Channel, at 7pm.
School Committee Discusses Adding a Pool to the New High School
In its regular meeting on August 24, the School Committee met with
Lea Anderson, head of the High School Building Committee, to get an
update. SC member Bob Gordon asked what the big issues were at this
point, in Anderson's judgment. She responded that "the athletic
space is still open to a lot of discussion." Gordon asked if a pool
was being considered again, "now that we're in a reimbursement
Superintendent Gary Burton interjected that nobody has really shown
that much interest in a pool. But Gordon repeated that the
possibility of adding a pool should be revisited in case it winds up
being reimbursable by the state.
SC Chairman Lori Frieling redirected the discussion by asking what
other issues were hot. Anderson responded that the HSBC is opposed
to "nitpicking classroom needs," such as reducing the currently
planned 800 square foot classroom size. (750 square feet was the
state's reimbursement requirement in the past, and most of the
existing rooms are in the 500-600 square foot range.) The HSBC will,
however, look at arts and athletics. Burton offered that they could
look at reducing the currently planned 850-seat auditorium to 750 or
even 650, but he didn't believe that would save much money. No one
mentioned the possibility of retaining the existing Little Theater.
SC member Heather Pineault asked about the status of the minimum
project estimate frequently requested by members of the public.
Anderson responded that it would be available by the end of
September. Burton interjected that the HSBC had begun calling it
the "stopgap" option rather than the "minimum" option, because no one
regarded it as acceptable.
Gordon objected: "Doing this minimum scenario is a bad idea." He
said he believes any option offered by the HSBC would be regarded as
a viable option by the public, even if the HSBC explicitly disowned
it as such. SC member Jeff Dieffenbach agreed, adding that anyone
could look at the existing cost breakdowns of the three defined
options and make the estimate themselves. Frieling, however,
disagreed, saying they should get the estimate and then show why it's
not acceptable. Pineault added: "The voters are intelligent people.
We should produce the information and let them make a choice." Gordon
responded: "But that would frame the debate." The argument continued
for some time, with Gordon and Dieffenbach insisting vehemently that
the estimate should not be done while the rest of the group,
particularly Pineault, continued to express support for its
completion. The final resolution was to proceed with the estimate.
The SC voted unanimously to accept the HSBC recommendation for Option
3 (replace all existing buildings except the field house with one new
Moving on in their agenda, the SC began discussing the
superintendent's goals for the coming year. "This is a yearly
exercise, and is really the goals for the district," said Burton.
There is always a budget goal, a building goal, and a curriculum
goal, he said, as he asked for input from the members. Gordon asked
whether a goal of improved relations with other boards in town should
be considered. Communications have been "herky-jerky" and issues
dealt with reactively, he said. "We've had some low moments."
Everyone agreed that relationships with other committees could be
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Wayland Voters Network
Margo Melnicove, Chair
Clarification: We failed to identify the author of the last
newsletter. It was WVN Treasurer Michael Short.