Tri-Board School Facilities Working Group
Following a joint meeting of the Boards of Education, Finance, and Selectmen on July 17, 2018, to review the Board of Education adopted 10 Year Capital Maintenance Plan, a consensus was established that it would be in the best interests of the town to begin an inquiry to determine the optimal approach to address the problem of aging and deteriorating school facilities, represented by the nearly $100 million in maintenance projects required to remediate the existing facilities.
As a result, with a baseline established with the 10 Year Capital Maintenance Plan, each Board recommended two members to serve on the ad hoc, “Tri Board School Facilities Working Group”. The members include Board of Education members Kirk Barneby and Galen Cawley, Board of Finance members Bennett Pudlin and Judith Friedman, and Board of Selectmen members Jean Ferris and Al Goldberg.
The Tri Board School Facilities Working Group meets each Wednesday morning from 7:45 AM-9:00 AM in Town Room A at Town Campus. Meetings are posted on the Board of Education calendar and the minutes of the meetings are posted below.
The overarching goal of this working group is to work collaboratively across the three primary town Boards to identify additional options for the BOE, beyond the BOE adopted 10 Year Capital Maintenance Plan, as potential solutions to the issue of aging school facilities and mounting maintenance projects.
The committee is identifying criteria by which to evaluate any additional options. The committee has agreed that any new options must be fiscally reasonable, accommodate long-term enrollment trends, and consider the needs of the 21st Century learning environment, while acknowledging the town’s obligation for other town facility projects.
A series of public forums are in the process of being scheduled in order to solicit substantive community feedback. The first forum for the school community, and interested members of the community at large, is scheduled for Wednesday November 28 at 7:00PM in the Ryerson School cafeteria. In order to accommodate the needs of families, babysitting will be provided on site for all public forums.
It is anticipated that the Tri Board School Facilities Working Group will conclude their work by March 31, 2019, with a final list of additional options for the community to consider beyond the BOE adopted 10 Year Capital Maintenance Plan, as potential solutions to the issue of aging school facilities and mounting maintenance projects.
On Monday April 1, 2019, as promised, the Tri Board School Facilities Working Group presented viable options for the town to consider beyond the BOE adopted 10 Year Capital Maintenance Plan. This was the primary objective of the committee. The committee identified criteria by which to evaluate any additional options, and it was agreed that any new options must be fiscally reasonable, accommodate long-term enrollment trends, and consider the needs of the 21st Century learning environment, while acknowledging the town’s obligation for other town facility projects.
Over the past few months, a series of public forums were held. Substantial public feedback was solicited, and received, largely informing the options presented.
Below is the slideshow presented on April 1 which describes the expanded criteria used by the committee, the proposals submitted by the public, the options evaluated, and the next steps.
The Tri Board School Facilities Working Group will now solicit further community feedback before transitioning this work to the Board of Education.
November 14, 2018
On November 14, 2018, the entire membership of the Boards of Education, Finance and Selectmen were provided an update on the work of the Tri Board School Facilities Working Group. The full Boards were provided information related to the background and recent history of the school facilities study, the early “takeaways” of the working group, the process by which the group will work, and the deadline and deliverables committed to by the working group. Please see the attached slide show as a guide to the information provided in this meeting.
Public Forum Responses
Two public forums have been held. At these meetings the members of the public were asked for their input. The documents below are a list of the responses.