December 18, 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., Tom Blake, Ralph Cabana, Dan Cecil, Jeanne Crocker, Suzanne Godin, Carrie Hall-Indorf, Scott Pakulski, Dan Robbins, Gene Swiger, Jake Viola, Polly Ward, Megan Welter.


Guests: Karen Callaghan, Stacy Gato, James Gilboy, Sara Goldberg – School Board. Roger Allen – Public. Tim Boyce – S. W. Cole.



1.      Welcome

A.     Announcement that Jake Viola was accepted early decision to Yale University.


2.      Approval of Minutes from December 4, 2008 meeting.

A.     Change item 3. A. 6) to, “People who were handing out the survey perceived that senior citizens were less enthusiastic about completing the survey as were people who did not know much about the high school building issues.”

B.     Minutes approved with above adjustment


3.      Continuation of School Updates

A.     First draft of the 1-3-5 year plans were distributed. The numbers and details have all been finalized.

B.     At SPHS, the items in the itemized lists that are highlighted are items that impact the annex, library, and Beal areas. These would be eliminated if we were to pursue the SPHS renovation Plan L.

1)     There are some items that overlap and cannot be pulled apart for the purpose of removing items that impact the annex, library and Beal gym area.

C.    The numbers in the 1-3-5 year plans are in 2009 costs.

1)     These numbers should get us out 5 years with the inflation factor figured in (figured on 4% inflation per year).

2)     These numbers can be adjusted if inflation is significantly different than the projected 4% increase per year.

D.    Scott reviewed the security challenges and deficiencies for the High School.

1)     Scott utilized the same standards as were used for Mahoney and Memorial to determine what needs to be done.

2)     Memorial is the easiest school in which to correct security deficiencies.

3)     Need to come up with more centralized visitor/handicapped parking for the High School.


4.      Information from S.W. Cole regarding Mahoney & Memorial Site Surveys

            Information presented by Tim Boyce, Soils Engineer for S. W. Cole

A.     Memorial Map

1)     Labels are sites of test borings or test pits

2)     Outline of “wetlands”

a)     Ground water is extremely shallow in field area

b)     Trying to ascertain if there are protected wildlife habitat concerns on the site

(1)   Will have to go out in the spring to check for vernal pools

(2)   These would require some set backs

(3)   The as-built drawings show considerable underground drainage under the fields

3)     Obvious sites – where the existing school is

a)     The Skillin and Memorial sites are considered one land mass

B.     Mahoney Map

1)     There is not a good historical record of this site

2)     Ground penetrating radar was used to assess if there are irregularities below the surface

a)     There is debris below the surface – concrete, bricks, wood, etc. The layer is 3-8 feet deep

b)     Behind the school, below the surface, a debris dump from the construction of the school was found. This is special, but not hazardous waste.

3)     The Trout Brook probably had a shore line that butted up to the back of the school and consumed part of the play fields.

4)     The Kimble Brook water course may have wandered through the site at one time.

5)     We may want to step up the maintenance of the Mahoney fields to address the safety issues caused by the sink holes.


5.      Consideration of Next Steps

A.     The Board of Education plans to talk more about these plans at the January Board of Education meeting.

B.     Get greater involvement of both the Board of Education and the City Council – involve the City Administration.

C.    Renovations cost money. If these maintenance items are needed., the reason they have not been taken care of to date is that there has not been enough money.

D.    The SSF Committee did the job it was given – We came up with a good plan but the playing field changed.

E.     The Secondary Schools Facilities Committee has completed their work and make the following recommendations:

1)     Move forward with the 1-3-5 year maintenance plans for the middle schools and high school as part of School Department Capital Improvement and ongoing maintenance projects.

2)     When the economy improves, upon the recommendation of the Board of Education and the City Council, the SSFC will reconvene to finalize the revised renovation plan for the high school prior to a referendum vote.

3)     Upon the recommendation of the Board of Education, the SSFC will reconvene to prepare plans for a consolidated middle school.

4)     Consensus was reached that the Committee reconvene at the request of the Board of Education.