School Board OKs Corrected Amount for Construction Warrant Article

HAMPSTEAD – The School Board offered no discussion on either the $6,339,946 renovation and construction project proposal for both town schools, or the proposed emergency access road to and from Hampstead Middle School. But it received information regarding both matters from Assistant Superintendent Roxanne Wilson.

Wilson took responsibility for having provided the board with an incorrect total project figure for the renovation and construction proposal at the board’s previous meeting.
At the Tuesday, Nov. 26 meeting, she said the correct figure for the project as proposed – renovation and construction with alternate work at Central School and the entrance and library renovation at the Middle School included – is $6,339,946.
She asked the board to vote on approving the amended amount for the project, which it did unanimously, approving it for a warrant article this coming March.
Wilson told the board that Facilities Director Michael Hall has asked for approval to hire a real estate expert from Manchester to examine the costs, planning board and zoning ordinance issues, and considerations that would be impacted by putting an emergency one-lane gravel, gated access road across private property to Agawam. Wilson did not have the individual’s name but said Hall had told her the agent had worked with the school board and district previously when they tried to purchase Huston’s land adjacent to Central School.
Board member Jason Cipriano made a motion to approve hiring the agent for advisory services for an amount not to exceed $5,000. There was no discussion and the board approved the motion unanimously.
In other business:
• Wilson said there are no changes to the budget proposal, and the final budget would be presented at the Dec. 10 meeting, when projected revenues would be available and the default budget prepared.
Board member Jaye Dimando said she didn’t think she would be able to vote on the budget without the presentation of the Technology Plan. She has voiced concerns in the past over the decision to buy Chrome Books for every fifth grader, with a view to having a device in every Middle School student’s hands within four years.
Cipriano, who is a member of the Technology Committee working to develop the new Technology Plan, said her concerns have been discussed, but the new Technology Plan won’t be available until February. Cipriano said the current Technology Plan is in force but Dimando responded that it is not being followed, so that didn’t give her any measure of comfort.
No action was taken.

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