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Town Meeting Says School Feasibility Study A Go

The study on Swampscott's elementary school needs is expected to take 6-9 months.

Town Meeting Says School Feasibility Study A Go Town Meeting Says School Feasibility Study A Go Town Meeting Says School Feasibility Study A Go Town Meeting Says School Feasibility Study A Go

 

The School Building Committee chairman said a vote for the $500,000 school feasibility and schematic design study was a vote for answers to pressing questions about Swampscott's elementary school needs.

"We need the answers at some point and we have an opportunity to get those answers now," he said, speaking to Town Meeting voters in the high school auditorium on Monday night.

The Town Meeting voters agreed.

The room was a sea of raised hands after the meeting moderator asked who was in favor of Article 2, the feasibility study.

Earlier, the Building Committee's chairman, Joe Crimmins, went to lengths to assure the room that a yes vote came without obligation — beyond the town's portion of the study's cost.

It would not obligate the town to build a new school but would give residents information on options and costs to meet the town's elementary school needs.

And it would tell the town what option the state is willing to partially fund; and it would keep the town in line to receive that funding.

Based on earlier statements from the committee it is appears likely the option the state will endorse, and be willing to fund, is construction of a new school.

Crimmins threw out a rough estimate on the cost of a new school — 25-35 million dollars.

On Monday speakers including Town Meeting members Neil Bernstein and Matt Strauss endorsed the study saying it made sound financial sense.

One, to get funding for a study that would be helpful regardless of whether the town decided to support the study's recommendation.

And, two, to remain eligible for Massachusetts School Building Authority funding for a school project.

Bernstein, a former School Committee member, said Hadley and other Swampscott schools were at the end of their days.

Speaker Deborah Shelkan Remis asked if the study would look at the condition of the Swampscott Middle School?

Crimmins said it would not.

Speaking against the proposal, Martin Goldman asked meeting members to table the study question.

He said that the appropriation should be put before the Capital Improvements Committee, he said.

But supporters said there was no time for bringing the study to the improvement panel since the state needs to know by the first week in November whether the town supports the feasbility study.

Article 2 asked for $500,000 for the study, 45 percent of which the state will reimburse.

The study is expected to take about 6-9 months.

After Town Meeting, Joe Crimmins said the School Building Committee did its homework and reached out to meeting members who came to Monday night's proceedings informed.

School Committee Chairman Larry Beaupre, also a member of the School Building Committee, said Monday's strong support was a huge endorsement of the schools and the students.

"We couldn't be more delighted," he said.


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