Photo: Site of the new high school.
A mix of professionals and residents, officials and those experienced in constructing large projects were appointed to the newly-formed Belmont High School Building Committee, announced at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on Monday, March 14.
Town Moderator Michael Widmar, who called the renovation “one of the most important and largest building projects in the town’s history,” selected the committee who were asked to dedicate a decade to the task.
“It’s a huge commitment on the part of these 15 people, and I want to publically on behalf of Belmont thank them for making that [decision],” said Widmer.
The members are:
- Phillip Ruggiero
- Jamie Shea
- Robert (Bob) McLaughlin
- Diane Miller
- Joel Mooney
- Pat Brusch
- Joe DeStefano
- William Lovallo
- Chris Messer
- Sami Baghdady, Board of Selectmen
- Thomas Caputo, School Committee
- David Kale, Town Administrator
- John Phelan, School Superintendent
- Gerald Boyle, Belmont’s Director of Facilities
- Dan Richards, Principal, Belmont High School
Widmer said Brusch, a member of the Permanent Building Committee would soon convene the newly-structured board where they would elected a chair and vice chair.
Widmer said Brusch, Mooney and Lovallo bring expertise as members of the Permanent Building Committee which will be important with the size of the project; McLaughlin is an attorney who is a member of the Warrant Committee while DeStefano and Ruggiero have backgrounds in construction and engineering.
Messer works for a large professional services firm and Shea and Miller both have graduated degrees from Harvard’s School of Education and volunteer their time, Shea as chair of the Foundation for Belmont Education and Miller with Joey’s Park.
Also, many have children who are students in the district.
The goal of the committee is to work in conjunction with the Massachusetts School Building Authority – which will provide between 30 to 35 percent of the construction cost of the estimated $100 million project – to bring to the town a proposal for a renovated high school facility which will include new construction. It will also be tasked with facilitating the development of the operational and educational components of the new building.
The MSBA selected the Belmont School District on Jan. 27 to begin the process that will result in the complete renovation of Belmont High School and the construct of a new science wing at the Concord Avenue campus.
Baghdady observed that the selection process was “a very inclusive selection process” with many hours Widmer spent speaking to officials and residents to find the right mix of residents and professionals.