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WVN #60: More Facts About 1990s High School Renovations

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  • waylandvoters2
    Wayland Voters Network January 10, 2005 Dear Wayland Voter, On Sunday 1/9/05 the MetroWest Daily News delved further into the discrepancy reported last week
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 10, 2005
      Wayland Voters Network
      January 10, 2005

      Dear Wayland Voter,

      On Sunday 1/9/05 the MetroWest Daily News delved further into the
      discrepancy reported last week between Wayland officials' advocacy of
      demolishing and rebuilding most of the high school and their earlier
      predictions that extensive renovations in the early 1990s added at
      least 25 years of life to the campus.

      "In a review of annual reports from 1990 to 2001, school officials
      repeatedly stated a 1993 high school renovation project added decades
      to the school's useful life," the Crier edition of the News reported
      in a Page One story.

      "During that time, High School Building Committee Chairwoman Lea
      Anderson and Superintendent Gary Burton both signed annual reports
      indicating a 25- to 30-year added life span because of the renovation
      project."

      In an interview with Crier reporter John Hilliard, Anderson
      said, "Maybe when you do a renovation, some things don't last as long
      as you expect."

      She added, "Picking and choosing quotes does not move us forward...I
      am concerned about the appalling lack of respect to the volunteers
      who served on these committees."

      The newspaper story quotes Burton as writing in a 1997 report: "The
      completion of the renovation program left the town with five school
      buildings and the Town Building in good operating condition for the
      next 20 to 30 years."

      Interviewed by the Crier, Burton said that his earlier words were not
      meant to be taken literally.

      "I think I may be guilty of repeating words from previous years,"
      Burton said. "That doesn't mean they shouldn't be accurate...What
      changed between 1995 to 2000? We became more familiar with the
      buildings (and) with the rising enrollments." (Current high school
      enrollment is about 900 and is expected to rise, then fall below 900
      early in the next decade.)

      In 1989 Wayland voters approved $12.8 million in renovations for all
      schools. Renovations at the high school from 1991 to 1993 cost about
      $6.1 million.

      The state approved reimbursement of 61 percent and is still
      compensating Wayland.

      The entire article, "Project backers change stances: Two supporters
      of new school had lauded 1993 renovations," can be found at:
      www.metrowestdailynews.com/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=87159

      The guest column in the 1/6/05 Wayland Town Crier that first brought
      these facts to light, "Vote of no confidence for the proposal," can
      be found at:
      www.townonline.com/wayland/opinion/view.bg?articleid=158275

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      Wayland Voters Network
      Margo Melnicove, Chair
      Michael Short, Treasurer
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