September 11, 2008





These notes were prepared by Polly Ward to the best of her understanding. If you find any inaccuracies, please contact the Superintendent of Schools Office at 871-0555 within one week after receiving the notes.


Present: Lee Akerley, Molly Aldrich, Steve Bailey, Ralph Baxter, Sr., Ralph Baxter, Jr., Ellen Benson, Tom Blake, Ralph Cabana, Dan Cecil, Kathy Germani, Suzanne Godin, Carrie Hall-Indorf, Randy Martin, Scott Pakulski, Eric Potvin, Dan Robbins, Gene Swiger, Jake Viola, Polly Ward, Megan Welter, and Kevin Woodhouse.


Guests: Mike Eastman, James Gilboy and Michael Kennedy – School Board; Susan Adams, Dick Campbell, Ed Cobb, Albert DiMillo, Matt Green, Judy Magnussen, Adam Perron, Caryn Radziwicz, Patricia Smith – Public.



Community Dialogue


Ralph Baxter, Jr. introduced the status of the high school planning process.


  1. The SSFC is looking at 1, 3 and 5 year maintenance schedules for the high school.

A. The high school building is enormously complex and the renovation/construction contains a lot of unusual components – such as the water issue.

  1. The Committee has met with the City Planner to look at alternative sites for the high school – his recommendation was that the best site is the current high school site.
  2. In August we held a Community Dialogue at Skillin elementary school and talked about what it would be like to phase the project. The Committee invited Frank Crabtree from Harriman Associates, as well as Pat Cloutier the City’s Director of Water Resource Protection to speak about water issues at the site.
  3. Four questions for the Community to consider:

A. Keep Beal Gym and refurbish it?                                                                     Y-1; N-0

1) $6 Million for a new gym

2) There was discussion regarding the cost of refurbishing Beal Gym.

a. Approximately $3 Million to completely refurbish Beal Gym.

b. Seating is an issue because all of the bleachers would need to be replaced.

c. If we keep Beal Gym, do we lose it for a year? The answer is Yes.

d. Can we refurbish Beal, not as a gym, but as an instructional space?

i)  The committee is also looking at using the Gym as an alternative space

ii) The building is not quite tall enough for three floors

iii) This option triggers the same cost requirements even if not used for a Gym, no savings over the referendum proposal

B. Demolish Beal Gym and include new gym in the revised footprint?        Y-4; N-0

C. Vote on one project to include all work?

D. Phase project over ten years with multiple votes?

5. The biggest issue is the total cost of the projects – ask the taxpayers what the highest amount that they would pay for the High School and Middle School(s) is.

A. Asking the people how much they are willing to pay will lead to people selecting the lowest amount option.

B. There is concern about paying the amount in the referendum for a building that is only open 180 days from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

1) Adult Ed is starting this fall; the high school building is used all the time.

6. A question was asked about the selection process used to hire the architectural firm.

7. The Community expressed interest in meeting LEED standards.

8. The Committee was cautioned about how the minutes are written for the Community Dialogue because the opinions are those of individuals, not the community as a whole.

9. There are direct stakeholders and indirect stakeholders.

A. The direct stakeholders were more involved in the last referendum.

B. The Committee needs to target to a greater extent the indirect stakeholder.



Secondary Schools Facilities Committee Meeting


  1. Welcome – Michael Kennedy, new student School Board member was introduced.


  1. Minutes of August 14, 2008
    1. Approved


  1. Review of Requests of Harriman Associates from the August 14, 2008 meeting

            A. Is phasing feasible, what might it look like?

            B. Are phasing schemes meeting the most important needs?

1) Could be considered phases of a master plan.


4. Consideration of “Must Do” and “Possibilities” Lists


5. Consideration of Revised Proposed Schemes

A. Scheme K – Demolish Annex, keep Beal Gym and current cafeteria/kitchen space

1) Portables are minimized by building the new spaces before the Annex is demolished.

2) Includes all the needed academic spaces, a new administrative space and a new library.

3) Full renovation of Beal Gym

4) New one story addition on Highland Avenue

5) Includes new mechanical space, sufficient for a future full expansion

6) Construction would be going on in Beal Gym while it’s occupied for some period of time.

7) Seating if Beal is renovated – this renovation plan permits us to meet the minimum 1200 bleacher count,

a) With 600 on the floor, seating will be at 1800 seats.

b) This still allows sufficient entry/exit flow

c) Restroom capacity will need to be addressed

8) New Elevator in Building A

B. Scheme L – Partial build-out toward the scheme that went to referendum

1) Adds considerable parking

2) Adds a new, relocated field hockey field and new, relocated tennis courts

3) Adds a new, relocated kitchen/cafeteria space

4) More portables than would be needed in Scheme K

C. Concerns

1) List the cost of removal of all of the asbestos as a separate item that we can look at adding into the project cost, or voting on separately

2) Concern about the loss of significant parking in Scheme K

3) Concern about supervision in Scheme K

a) Difficult to move around the building.

b) The wings are not connected horizontally.

c) There is not a fluid transition from Phase 1 to the final phase – if one thinks of it as starting with K, moving to L – more expensive to undo work already completed.

d) Concern about kitchen/cafeteria access being within the bus loop.

e) Concern with no night entry other than the main entrance.

4) The Committee is interested in asking Harriman to look more fully at Scheme L, with reductions.

5) The Committee needs to revisit the potential DOT requirements

6) Harriman will refine Scheme L and identify a number of items for us to decide as to whether they’re included or removed, with associated costs identified.

7) A question was raised about whether field hockey can move to Wainwright Fields. An answer will be brought to the next meeting.

D. Enrollment

1) We will be requesting another enrollment projection from Planning Decisions


6. Consideration of How to Access Feedback, During the November Election

A. Not Discussed – will be discussed at the September 25, meeting.


7. Other

A. The date of the next Secondary Schools Facilities Committee Meeting is Thursday, September 25, 2008, at Kaler elementary school. Community Dialogue will begin at 6:00 p.m., and the SSFC meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

B. A question was asked about making a parking building/garage instead of just a parking lot.

1) A question was raised regarding whether it is possible to expand parking without moving the tennis courts.