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    Wayland Voters Network October 31, 2005 Dear Wayland Voter, This is a report of the High School Building Committee meeting submitted by WVN Treasurer Mike
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2004
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      Wayland Voters Network
      October 31, 2005

      Dear Wayland Voter,

      This is a report of the High School Building Committee meeting submitted by
      WVN Treasurer Mike Short.

      HSBC October 28

      The High School Building Committee agreed quickly on $4.176 million as the
      sum that voters should be asked to approve to start a five-year building
      project. But there was no consensus at the Oct. 28 meeting on what to
      promise voters about the full cost.

      Up 4 percent from recent estimates of $55.5 million, the latest figure from
      HMFH Architects and Turner Construction Co. -- $57.697 million -- set off a
      long discussion on choosing a number to present to voters. The committee
      will issue a final report on Nov. 18, part of a campaign leading to the Jan. 25
      special election on a Prop. 2-1/2 tax override.

      In the mean time, the HSBC is tinkering with details.

      Turner and HMFH offered possible budget cuts to get below $57.7 million.
      They total about $3.82 million and range from choosing cheaper but less
      durable roofing to reducing square footage. Cutting 3,000 square feet from
      classrooms and 2,000 square feet from the "core" building would save an
      estimated $1.34 million. But it would also "cut program," which in the HSBC
      lexicon means giving High School administrators less than they asked for.
      Member Eric Sheffels said that would be unlikely.

      The present "program" calls for adding about 69,000 square feet to the
      total of existing buildings, the equivalent of a one-story building 100
      feet deep and 690 feet long.

      The architects and builders also presented a list of nice-to-have options
      beyond the $57.7 million. Those add-ons total about $3.19 million and
      include cinder block corridor walls, more extensive air conditioning, artificial
      turf for the football field and roofing designed to last 33 years.

      Member Joe Lewin, who has considerable experience with large projects,
      warned against choosing a low estimate that could be outdated within weeks
      after serious design work begins. "I want a number that people can have
      confidence in," he said, noting that sticking to $55.5 million could
      result in tough choices about what to eliminate.

      The committee plans public forums on Dec. 16 and Jan. 8 and 13 to
      persuade voters to approve on Jan. 25 a ballot question that contains no cost
      figures, then vote at a Special Town Meeting two days later to appropriate
      the first $4.176 million. That would enable Wayland to pursue contracts and
      quickly begin soil testing considered essential to any chance of finishing
      the classroom building by fall 2007 and the other building in 2009.

      A vote on the remaining costs, which the committee calls "another bite of the
      apple," could come as late as 2006.

      Though the committee hasn't wavered from its strategy of seeking an early
      start, the latest enrollment projections suggest no urgency. There will be at
      least a temporary shortage of space in 2005 and 2006 which only temporary
      buildings or creative use of existing space could alleviate.

      Superintendent Gary Burton told the committee he hopes to avoid leasing
      modular temporary classrooms next year, fearing a tax override. When he
      suggested that the Wayland Cable TV operation might be moved out of the
      High School, Waycam's Richard Turner warned about the town's contractual
      obligation and noted that students use the studio.

      The superintendent also said that maintenance of the High School has
      improved recently after years of neglect for which he blamed his
      predecessor, Bill Zimmerman, and the School Committee in office at the time.
      The High School was last renovated in 1991, before Burton became

      The appropriation for the High School project won't be the only article at
      the Special Town Meeting on Jan. 27. Voters have presented a petitioners'
      article to freeze spending on the project until 1) the new Massachusetts
      School Building Authority completes a survey of needs throughout the state,
      2) the Authority issues requirements for possible reimbursement, and 3) the
      Wayland Finance Committee presents a comprehensive analysis of the
      town's ability to carry the debt. The HSBC hopes the state will reimburse
      about a third of the cost; cities and towns cannot apply until July 2007.

      What if both articles pass? Burton asked. The consensus was that if
      supporters have the two-thirds majority to pass the appropriation, there
      will be enough on hand to defeat the petitioners' article, which requires a
      simple majority.

      The HSBC meets again on Nov. 10 and 18.

      Thank you for reading this WVN newsletter.  Please forward it to your friends
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      Wayland Voters Network
      Margo Melnicove, Chair
      Michael Short, Treasurer
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