Unofficial Minutes: Buildings & Grounds Subcommittee 1/25/16

Subcommittee members in attendance: Liz Yusem, Chair, Kendra Foley, John Portz, Jean Fitzgerald, Superintendent; Charles Kellner, Director of Business Services

Partial list of those in the audience: Eileen Hsu-Balzer(SC), Candace Miller (SC), Mark Sideris (SC & TC), Mike Dattoli (TC), Lisa Feltner (TC), Tom Tracy (Auditor/Assistant Town Manager for Finance), Kate Coyne (WSS), David Stokes (WSS), and Alyson Morales (WSS).

- As was discussed at the last School Committee meeting, enrollment is projected to grow in the coming years. Watertown needs to look at short-, mid- and long-term solutions to our current space issues. Some near-term solutions that were discussed were moving PreK to the Phillips building, making more classroom space in the Hosmer gym, moving 5th graders to the Middle School, modular classrooms, etc. The 2014 study done in preparation for our SOI to the MSBA was discussed, but this study's purpose was to determine the health of the physical structures of our schools and was not meant to address class size or programming needs. It was determined that in order to best cost and identify solutions, a professional study to address classroom and programming needs was required. The Building and Grounds Subcommittee has asked the administration to put together an RFP for such a study. A larger more comprehensive multi-year "Master Plan" study was also discussed as a longer term need, but no final decision on this was made.

- The Statement of Interest to the MSBA (Massachusetts School Building Authority) for Watertown High school will be refined and resubmitted in the coming months. The open period to apply to the MSBA is January - April, 2016. The MSBA makes their decisions public in December, 2016. The SOI will come before the school committee and town council in March for review and vote. This is a longer term solution to Watertown's ongoing space issues. This will be the third year that Watertown has submitted at SOI. It has taken Belmont approximately 10 years to become a finalist for Belmont High School. The final decision will be made by the MSBA later this month.

- The project to replace windows at the Watertown Middle School is moving forward, but due to the way the areas around the windows were built, it seems there are limited window options. Further information will be forthcoming on how that may effect the project cost.

- Stemetakis Playground was discussed, but no decision was made as the school business manager and the town auditor have to have further discussion on whether the town will take ownership of the playground.

Minutes written by: Alyson Morales

Official minutes are now posted

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