Monday, August 3, 2009

School board meeting tonight

The Concord School Board will be discussing its consolidation proposal at a meeting this evening at 7 p.m.
At issue, mainly, is whether or not the school administration can or should apply for a school site waiver from the state for a new Kimball Elementary School.
At least one school board member has privately raised the issue that the Kimball site, at less than 3-acres, falls far short of the 10-acre state standard needed for new school buildings in the state of New Hampshire. The administration has reportedly decided to apply for a waiver. But according to state law, the school board needed to meet to discuss the matter and then direct the administration to ask for the waiver. The administration couldn't just do it on their own, which is what they seemed to want to do.
Another matter at issue is the cost of a new Kimball School, which will be at least $25.6 million or more than $51,000 per student. The project will come in, according to sources, nearly 70 percent higher in costs of the Conant and Rumford elementary school consolidation renovation proposal.
Clearly, there are still too many questions that need to be answered before this waiver is requested. First, is this the best plan? Is this the best use of millions in taxpayer money? What is the best thing for the children and not the administration or school board egos or legacies? What happens if Concord goes through another growth spurt like it is expected to do during the next 15 years? Where will all those new children go to school if you just spent at least $60 million consolidating the community's elementary schools from nine down to four?
I don't know all the answers but it is clear that the school board doesn't either because they are forging headfirst into this project without hesitation when it is clearly the wrong direction to be headed in.

1 comment:

Trish said...

Is this still a proposal or a done deal?