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February 15, 2007 Minutes
Thursday, February 15, 2007
PRESENT:Mrs. Paradee, Chair, Mr. Brown, Mrs. Dunn, Mrs. Fles, Mr. Jermyn, Mrs. Shaw, Mr. Shea, Dr. Knowles, Ms. Rebar, Mrs. Leathers
Eleven citizens, four staff members
ABSENT: Mr. Rogers, Vice-Chair, Mr. Hunnewell, Mrs. Kelley, Mr. King, Mr. Taylor
Mrs. Paradee called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and declared a quorum present.
Dr. Knowles passed out the following:
1. An agenda for the meeting
2. A time line for school construction projects
3. A list of needed capital improvements for Hamlin and Pittston for the next ten years
Dr. Knowles called for questions from the audience:
1. What does it cost to run the schools ? This yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s costs to run the schools was Hamlin $218, 690.14 and Pittston - $185,425.90
2. What are the options?
a. continue to maintain to the best of our ability
b. go for new construction project in each community Ã¢â‚¬â€œ approximately $15,000,000 each
c. go for a consolidated school Ã¢â‚¬â€œ also approximately $15,000,000
3. Has it absolutely been determined that you cannot add on to Pittston?
Dr. Knowles stated the opportunities for expansion are very limited at Pittston. There is not enough room to add a gym, the district probably could add some classrooms, but cannot do everything the school needs.
4. Do we know how much it would cost to maintain a new building? The newer elementary schools the district has are much cheaper to maintain then Hamlin and Pittston. He stated any new building would be built energy efficient.
5. Would it be possible to build a gym somewhere the two schools could share, and then use the gym space in each school for classroom needs? Dr. Knowles
stated there were strict guidelines for construction and he could not answer whether that would be allowed or not.
Mrs. Paradee stated bussing of students to a separate building would take a lot of time away from student learning time.
6. How far away is a decision? Dr. Knowles stated the Board will need to make a decision fairly soon as the next round of applications is due December 2007 and there are many studies that need to be done before the application is needed.
Mrs. Paradee stated she hoped the Board would make a decision by June.
7. How long does it take to get on the protected list? Dr. Knowles stated you are rated according to need along with everyone else who is applying.
8. Why do we have to submit two applications? State rules say we would need to put in two applications, but then ask for a consolidated school.
9. If we do not want a consolidated school, what are our options? Dr. Knowles stated the district would maintain the building to the best of our ability.
10. Is there anyway to get a better indication of how the communities feel? There are so few people at the meetings, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to know how community members really feel. Pete Coughlan, a citizen from Randolph, stated Randolph puts out a newsletter with a survey and he would be willing to draft one for Pittston.
Mrs. Paradee stated the problem with surveys is that it is hard to put all the information into it and questions people have, might not be answered. She stated the last two meetings have generated a lot of questions and conversation.
It was suggested that the Pittston Board members attend the town meeting to answer any questions townspeople might have.
A parent commented that while it makes more sense financially to have a consolidated school, two small elementary schools would be his preference for the educational value.
He questioned the cost of two schools versus the cost of one school. Mrs. Leathers stated if the State deemed it was more feasible to build a consolidated school and the taxpayers wanted two, it might mean paying locally for the second gym, cafeteria, office and library.
As there were no more questions, the audience was dismissed at 7:55 p.m.
Dr. Knowles asked for permission to submit a Revolving Renovation application to replace the high school siding. He stated he had been encouraged by the State to submit an application as soon as possible. He stated the only other option was to use the Pray Street money.
VOTED:Motion by Mrs. Paradee, seconded by Mr. Jermyn to submit a Revolving Renovation
7 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 0 application to the State to replace the siding at GAHS.
Mrs. Paradee asked the Board if they were ready to go paperless. Consensus of the Board was to try.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.