Photo: A No until accountability
To The Editor:
I am not going to argue whether we need a new school. I am concerned about the people on the committee and our past debacles.
Wellington Elementary School
1. full before it was finished being built.
2. Neighbor Noise issues (as a side the building committee rolled there eyes even thought the residents were correct and the town eventually after finally listening did something about it).
3. Sound proofing – the school was finally fixed this year for the noise between classrooms and it actually caused a new sound issue in the principals office that has to be corrected.
4. It’s made of wood and is already in need of repair.
For some reason the committees never take this into account. There was an issue at the Burbank. At the Chenery the solution was to line up barrels in the hallways until the fire chief said it was a safety issue
This is the third high school in 75 years I believe. And the in-all-seriousness Bill Lovallo, the chair of the building committee made a comment that this school should last 50 years. Now I am sure it was said with the best of intentions but with proper maintenance and upkeep, shouldn’t a building last more than 50 years?
Speaking of upkeep, what is the maintenance plan for this building? Are estimated costs for the future? For example, what is the boilers life span? Will there be money in replace [them] when the time comes and not let them be fixed with band aids?
Did you know the building committee decided to take down the [White] Field House in front of the hockey rink? The one where just a few years ago people donated to have new lockers put in with name plates? Not to mention the decision was made without consulting the Recreation Department who uses an office there (and to my knowledge had not been told of their new location) or that that building is also use for IT equipment for wiring around the field and rink (sorry I don’t know the technical terms).
Now I completely appreciate the time and effort that the people on these committees make but its the same people committee after committee. Who picks them? The Town Moderator. I am curious if anyone has been turned down from a committee or if truly no one else has asked to be on it. What we need is an actual plumber, HVAC and general contractor on the committee as they know the codes and can pick things up when reviewing plans. To me not having those on the board is irresponsible.
Finally, one of major concerns is the fiscal responsibility of the committee. Once the money is received from the Massachusetts School Building Authority and from the town, the committee has oversight. The committee does have have to answer to anyone else, not the town administrator or the town selectmen. How long has the Wellington been done and the board is still in existence and still spending money (granted it is to correct problems but really, should it have taken this long).
Until I can get assurances that we are not going down the same road we always do, whether we need it or not, I will vote no.