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WVN #32: SC Discusses Adding Pool to New High School

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  • waylandvoters2
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2004
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      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
      environment."

      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
      building).

      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
      improved.

      Thank you for reading this WVN newsletter. Please forward it to your
      friends and neighbors in Wayland. If they want to receive their own
      copy, they can send an email to waylandvoters2@... and they
      will be signed up for the listserv. Or, they can sign themselves up
      by sending a blank email to waylandvotersnetwork-
      subscribe@yahoogroups.com. Click reply and send after receiving an e-
      mail confirming the subscription. Anyone who'd rather receive
      information from WVN by phone or regular mail should leave a message
      at (508) 358-9171.

      Wayland Voters Network
      Margo Melnicove, Chair

      Clarification: We failed to identify the author of the last
      newsletter. It was WVN Treasurer Michael Short.
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