New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

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New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

Postby Harry on Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:15 am

Well, semantics I guess. It doesn't really matter what you call it. Over-ride, Debt exemption, or my Mike Dukakis favorite "financial renumeration" it's a tax increase any way you look at it. And a tax increase in the beginning of a recession at that.

The Trojan Horse mentally still saddles us with a large cost of our own. And the State in good times delayed paying back their share of the funds for these new school projects. What makes us think they will pay us back in hard times.

How about this idea. Why don't we get our own fiscal house in order first? Get the town employees on the State heath care plan. Call in Miceli, Feingold, and Tucker and tell them to begin the process of ending the early retirement scam, allow the cities and towns to start 401K plans and stop the 30 Billion dollar State Pension scam, and return these monies back to the cities and towns so that our taxes can once again be used to pay for things like roads, trash, schools, ya know, things that taxes were actually intended for.

Until this State and Town does some serious flushing out of waste, graft, and corruption I am done with any more tax increases. I am struggling to get by.

It's nothing personal, strictly business.
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New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

Postby ELLE on Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:45 am

Harry, I think you can work those 2 things in parallel. The high school isn't just good for the kids that attend, it's good for all homeowners in town in. I would think the recent sale prices hurt people a lot more than a few more dollars temporarily added onto your bill. Since it is a debt exemption it does go away when it's paid off. It's good for the community in the form of increased property values. It's also good for the community too to have a school that they are proud of. Did you read the recent article about sports attendance being down? We have a crappy facility and 1/3 of the kids have left for private school. I'd rather pay a little more and start rebuilding our Tewksbury community because I'm getting value for my dollar and I can see it in the form of a new building and a stronger community. This money doesn't go into increased salaries or more benefits - it is giving us a beautiful facility to be proud of and to educate our children in. I think you will find most people in town will rally around this.
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New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

Postby Harry on Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:11 am

Sorry L, I’m struggling with that line of thinking.

Quote
“The high school isn't just good for the kids that attend; it's good for all homeowners in town in. I would think the recent sale prices hurt people a lot more than a few more dollars temporarily added onto your bill.â€￾

Sales prices have dropped for homes because we are in a recession, not because we have a “crappyâ€￾ High School. A few more dollars added onto my bill? Ah..ya.. like several thousand over the 20/30 years of debt. 20/30 years I may be gone so it’s a permanent tax increase to me.

Quote
“Did you read the recent article about sports attendance being down?â€￾

And we need to take on 80 Million or more in debt to correct this?

The value of my home is irrelevant to me. Unless I sell and never buy again its monopoly money. You sell high, you will be re-buying high and if you sell low you will be re-buying low. What’s the diff….Hardly a rational argument to take on more debt.

The if we don’t do this now it will cost more later is classic logic from the current “credit card generationâ€￾ and it’s exactly how we have become a nation of debtors. More Americans now have negative finances, that is, more debt than assets. That’s a fact. My parents and grandparents lived by a simple rule, if they opened their wallets and it was empty, they didn’t buy it.

You may get the debt exemption by at the Town Meeting trick but it will be crushed, and I mean crushed, at the polls.
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New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

Postby draker4b on Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:25 am

L is correct. An override is forever, a debt exemption goes away once it it paid off. Two different things.

Can't blame the failure to pass the 2005 High School renovation plan on the seniors, though. Read Keith's last sentence in his first posting in this thread again. It lost by 8 votes. That means if nine (9) more parents bothered to vote for it, then it would have passed.

Keith, when is the next High School Building Committee meeting that is open? I'd like to attend if possible.
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New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

Postby draker4b on Fri Mar 28, 2008 7:32 am

L also alludes to the fact that the TMHS facility is more than just a school. That place is active most nights & weekends, too. With recreational sports teams, arts & music groups, towm meetings, it is as close to a community center as we have here in town.
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New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

Postby U8Coach on Fri Mar 28, 2008 8:50 am

Here are the facts I want to see come out of a feasibility study:

Obviously we understand the massive up front costs of construction. What will be the cost to operate the facility after it opens? Assuming that any facility will be sized for potential growth in the student population, will it cost more to heat and cool? What about grounds maintenance?

Will the new building incorprate facilities to properly educate special needs children so that we can educate more of them in house?

Will fees be increased because the cost of running extracurricular activities will increase with the new building?

Like Sean, I have no problem at all paying more if I am getting something back. My fear is that we will see cost increases that go beyond the initial construction.

Keith - I strongly recommend that part of your campaign include a lot of solid, clear, and factual information on the following:

#1 - Cost to operate the school in comparison to the current facility.

#2 - What is going to be done in order to control the cost of construction and who will be in charge of oversight. I would also highly recommend assembling a group of construction oriented personnel to review the plans from the architect and perform a Value Engineering of the design. In my expereince consultants are not much different than a kid in the candy store and if you tell them you have $100 million they will spend $101. The right approach is to settle on a design that is under budget by at least 10% which leaves you plenty of room to buff up the furnishings at the END of the project after all hidden costs have surfaced.

#3 - The upside due to increased enrollment on our debt to Tech, etc.

It really is a shame that the light is approaching for this project in such a dire period in the economy. Five years ago this project would have been a done deal with minimal complaints. The Newton fiasco alone may be enough of a publicity nightmare to sink this.
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New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

Postby sean_czarniecki on Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:30 am

I agree with Harry on the "override/debt-exemption is still a tax increase" issue and that because it takes 20-30 yrs to go away, you never really notice a drop in your tax bill at the end. My point was exactly the semantics behind the two. One is for what should be considered a "controlled" cost (debt-exemption), while the override in this case is being used for operational costs which are currently "uncontrolled" and will only require further overrides in the future unless the system is fixed. It won't get fixed as long as the money keeps showing up...
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New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

Postby Nacca on Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:41 am

Just a quick side note .... with all of the bashing of our local leaders on this website I think it is time we give some credit. I hope people in this town realize how lucky we are to have someone like Keith Rauseo fighting for our kids. You may not always agree with him, but you will always get a straightup and honest answer. Keep up the good work Keith. It is very much appreciated.
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New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

Postby Nacca on Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:00 pm

Your spelling, grammar and masterful use of punctuation drive home the fact that we need a strong proponent for the education of our children. Like I said, we are fortunate to have someone who cares as much as Keith.
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New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

Postby Chasnbos on Fri Mar 28, 2008 10:07 pm

Well I guess this a good opportunity but couldn't come at a worst time. Our situation is similiar to Franklins except our project is in the approval pool to recoop 55% of the
cost.

Timeline would be 18 - 24 months to approve and plan before breaking ground then 24- 30 months before the school is complete.
We need to cap the project at 90M to include contingencies ,hard and soft cost. This would be a very simple design and very little room for extras

Authority, said the high school not making the initial round of funding "doesn't mean that Franklin doesn't have problems, but it wasn't among the worst."

As part of its examination of Franklin's application, the authority performed a site review of the high school last August, but could not determine whether the proposed repairs are urgent. Craven said she has not seen the accrediting association's most recent letter, and is interested in learning what caused the organization to put Franklin High on warning status.

She said Franklin's request for state aid is on hold, meaning that it has not been designated for funding but the building authority is open to receiving more information about the district's needs.

"We'll certainly be talking to the town of Franklin and their legislative representatives to see what can be done," Craven said.

In the coming weeks, the School Committee will ask the Town Council to establish a local building committee to review options for the high school and make recommendations for its renovation or replacement, chairman Roy said.

"Like everything else, the costs of construction materials are increasing. The longer we wait, the more expensive it will be," he said.

The School Committee commissioned a facility study by Kaestle Boos Associates, an architectural firm with offices in Foxborough, in order to address the concerns raised by NEASC in its 2005 accreditation report. The regional organization's criticisms included the presence of rusted shelves in the chemical storage area, the lack of emergency showers in some science labs, reductions in custodial staffing levels, and the lack of handicap access in several locations in the school.

The firm delivered a number of renovation options in the fall of 2006, but the School Committee's Feb. 26 meeting was the first time that price tags were attached to the proposals, as well as the first presentation of a proposed new building, Roy said.

Architect Michael McKeon presented three options for renovating and adding to the existing building, ranging in cost from $93 million to $100 million. All three involve various placement options for a new or renovated science wing and auditorium.

McKeon said his firm's preferred option calls for renovating the center portion of the school, and building a two-story science wing, and a separate auditorium. "This is a soup-to-nuts renovation to bring the school totally up to 21st-century standards," he said.

Kaestle Boos estimated the cost of this option at $93 million to $97 million. Construction would take about 30 months, and involve "a lot of rerouting of students" while various areas of the school were being renovated, McKeon said.

Building a completely new school would cost $120 million to $130 million. McKeon said that the facility could be built on the other side of the existing field house on what are now playing fields. The fields could be rebuilt where the school building is now.

Traffic would be routed straight through the site from Oak Street to Panther Way, with a bus drop-off loop in the rear and a drop-off area for cars in the front, McKeon said.

Building a new school would take less time than a renovation, 22 to 24 months, as construction crews wouldn't be working on an inhabited building, McKeon said.

School Building Authority spokeswoman Carrie Sullivan said Franklin officials should keep the authority informed about any high school design options being considered.
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New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

Postby trucker on Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:30 am

this guy is embarassing some of what he says over the air he should be ashamed keith sometimes lets his moulth go way to far for example saying everyone in town should loose there jobs and remember his wife is now a town employee
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New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

Postby dheafey on Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:45 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
McKeon said his firm's preferred option calls for renovating the center portion of the school, and building a two-story science wing, and a separate auditorium. "This is a soup-to-nuts renovation to bring the school totally up to 21st-century standards," he said.


A separate auditorium would be nice. Given that I struggle with the current auditorium to get the sound right for the Drama club's musicals, it'd be nice to have the new auditorium done right. Of course, with a tightly focused budget, proper acoustic treatments might be alot to ask for. [img]images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img]
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New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

Postby Chasnbos on Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:11 pm

Maybe we should follow their example since the state seems to favor renovation vs the new school


State agency OKs Methuen High for major renovation funding

By J.J. Huggins
Staff writer


METHUEN — Methuen High School is in line to have more than half its renovation paid for by the state.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority yesterday announced that Methuen High is among 11 public schools in the state and one of just three high schools ready for "schematic design."

That means the school has moved to the next phase in the process of getting funding for a large-scale renovation, said Executive Director Katherine Craven.

"Obviously, I'm extremely excited," said Methuen High Principal Arthur Nicholson. "This has a been a long time in the making. It's really going to enhance what we do here at Methuen High School."

The school has been a much-talked about problem for years. Making the list that it made yesterday is a sign of how badly the repairs are needed. The state received 423 "statements of interest" from 162 school districts saying they would like money to rebuild or repair schools. The 11 schools that made the list represent "the neediest," the School Building Authority said in a statement.

The state has up to $2.5 billion to spend on school building projects during the next five years. With some new schools costing more than $100 million, there are limited dollars to go around.

Methuen has been working closely with the state to get funding, officials said.

"I think I've been to Methuen High more than I've been to my own daughter's elementary school," Craven said.

Officials have previously estimated the high school project could cost as much as $80 million. They said yesterday that it's too soon to give a firm estimate. Craven said it's too early to determine how much money the state will give the city, how long the renovation will take, or when it will begin.

State Sen. Steven Baddour, D-Methuen, said the state will pay for 58 to 65 percent of the project. He expects the state to pay for closer to 65 percent, he noted.

Mayor William Manzi said city officials are working to determine how to fund the city's share, and they will end up unveiling a financial plan to the City Council and the School Committee.

State Rep. Linda Dean Campbell said officials will look to make the school an energy-efficient "green building" with solar panels and natural light.

The next step is for the city and state to select an architect to begin the design.

The high school was built in 1975. The two main problems are the open concept classrooms, and that there are too few science laboratories, and the labs are outdated, Nicholson said.

Pouring a foundation for a new building would probably cost more than renovating the school, Craven said.

"Where this is a 1970s-era structure and it seems to be structurally sound, we think this is a good candidate for renovation," she said.

Workers will renovate the majority of the building.

"It's not just about replacing a few pipes and some paint, this is going to be a major project," Craven said.

The renovation could involve adding onto the building if they cannot find space for new science labs, Craven said.

Public officials hailed yesterday's announcement, saying the renovation will provide students with a state-of-the-art facility.

Manzi said "the improvements will certainly, everybody agrees, put us in a position where we create a stronger learning environment for the kids."

"I'm excited as a parent and I'm excited as a legislator, that we're able to get to this point," said Baddour, who graduated from the high school in 1987 and has children in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

"This has been a number one priority for the last two years, without a doubt, because it affects so many aspects of our community," Campbell said.

Some communities have run into snags in getting state money for schools because they cannot get on the same page as state officials. But that's not the case in Methuen.

"We are in total agreement with them as to what the problem is and what the solution is, and we can't say the same for every other district we're working with," Craven said.

State and city officials agreed renovating the high school is the way to go, rather than building a new one. That will help expedite the process because officials don't have to waste time debating whether to renovate or rebuild, and the architect can focus on coming up with plans for only a renovation, Craven said.

"I think this outcome of Methuen and the SBA working together so well has saved the taxpayers and the students of Methuen time and money," Craven said, adding the agreement has likely shaved at least a year off the project.

Bancroft Elementary School in Andover is not on the list of 11 schools targeted for "schematic design," but it is among the schools chosen to undergo a feasibility study, which is one of the steps in the process of getting the state to help pay for repairs or a rebuild.


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Re: New High School - Please Don't Follow Newton's Example

Postby JanCarroll on Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:47 am

Chasnbos wrote:Maybe we should follow their example since the state seems to favor renovation vs the new school


State agency OKs Methuen High for major renovation funding

By J.J. Huggins
Staff writer


METHUEN — Methuen High School is in line to have more than half its renovation paid for by the state.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority yesterday announced that Methuen High is among 11 public schools in the state and one of just three high schools ready for "schematic design."

That means the school has moved to the next phase in the process of getting funding for a large-scale renovation, said Executive Director Katherine Craven.

"Obviously, I'm extremely excited," said Methuen High Principal Arthur Nicholson. "This has a been a long time in the making. It's really going to enhance what we do here at Methuen High School."

The school has been a much-talked about problem for years. Making the list that it made yesterday is a sign of how badly the repairs are needed. The state received 423 "statements of interest" from 162 school districts saying they would like money to rebuild or repair schools. The 11 schools that made the list represent "the neediest," the School Building Authority said in a statement.

The state has up to $2.5 billion to spend on school building projects during the next five years. With some new schools costing more than $100 million, there are limited dollars to go around.

Methuen has been working closely with the state to get funding, officials said.

"I think I've been to Methuen High more than I've been to my own daughter's elementary school," Craven said.

Officials have previously estimated the high school project could cost as much as $80 million. They said yesterday that it's too soon to give a firm estimate. Craven said it's too early to determine how much money the state will give the city, how long the renovation will take, or when it will begin.

State Sen. Steven Baddour, D-Methuen, said the state will pay for 58 to 65 percent of the project. He expects the state to pay for closer to 65 percent, he noted.

Mayor William Manzi said city officials are working to determine how to fund the city's share, and they will end up unveiling a financial plan to the City Council and the School Committee.

State Rep. Linda Dean Campbell said officials will look to make the school an energy-efficient "green building" with solar panel and natural light.

The next step is for the city and state to select an architect to begin the design.

The high school was built in 1975. The two main problems are the open concept classrooms, and that there are too few science laboratories, and the labs are outdated, Nicholson said.

Pouring a foundation for a new building would probably cost more than renovating the school, Craven said.

"Where this is a 1970s-era structure and it seems to be structurally sound, we think this is a good candidate for renovation," she said.

Workers will renovate the majority of the building.

"It's not just about replacing a few pipes and some paint, this is going to be a major project," Craven said.

The renovation could involve adding onto the building if they cannot find space for new science labs, Craven said.

Public officials hailed yesterday's announcement, saying the renovation will provide students with a state-of-the-art facility.

Manzi said "the improvements will certainly, everybody agrees, put us in a position where we create a stronger learning environment for the kids."

"I'm excited as a parent and I'm excited as a legislator, that we're able to get to this point," said Baddour, who graduated from the high school in 1987 and has children in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

"This has been a number one priority for the last two years, without a doubt, because it affects so many aspects of our community," Campbell said.

Some communities have run into snags in getting state money for schools because they cannot get on the same page as state officials. But that's not the case in Methuen.

"We are in total agreement with them as to what the problem is and what the solution is, and we can't say the same for every other district we're working with," Craven said.

State and city officials agreed renovating the high school is the way to go, rather than building a new one. That will help expedite the process because officials don't have to waste time debating whether to renovate or rebuild, and the architect can focus on coming up with plans for only a renovation, Craven said.

"I think this outcome of Methuen and the SBA working together so well has saved the taxpayers and the students of Methuen time and money," Craven said, adding the agreement has likely shaved at least a year off the project.

Bancroft Elementary School in Andover is not on the list of 11 schools targeted for "schematic design," but it is among the schools chosen to undergo a feasibility study, which is one of the steps in the process of getting the state to help pay for repairs or a rebuild.


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It was very exciting concept but I am still not sure which decision was taken..
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