You have to love the City Charter. It clearly spells out that the location and/or land for ANY School Building has to have the approval of the School Committee.
Part 4. The school committee, in addition to the powers and duties pertaining by law to school committees, shall have power to provide, when necessary, temporary accommodations for school purposes, and shall have the control of all school buildings and of the grounds connected therewith.
Part 5. No site for a school building shall be acquired by the city unless its approval by the school committee is first obtained. No plans for the construction of or alterations in a school building shall be accepted, and no work shall be begun on such construction or alteration unless the approval of the school committee therefor is first obtained.
Nothing herein contained shall require such approval for the making of ordinary repairs.
Ironic isn’t it that it is the School Committee has total authorization of the location of a new school but it is the City Council who appropriates the money for the purchase? Do you think any current Committee members or challengers knew this?
If they did, would the school administration offices and Family Resource Center be in downtown Lowell?
This makes the election of a School Committee even more important than it already was.
Will we elect members who are willing to stand up to the Council and say LEAVE LHS Downtown?
Will they be able to take a stand and fight the Council amid a threat of not funding a State approved / 80% reimbursement if the school is to stay downtown?
Would they be willing to go along if the state identifies a different location that moves the school or would they buckle to pressure from those that want the school to stay downtown?
Would the City Council try to push the School Committee into accepting a different location even IF the State says we will fund renovation and expansion at the existing location?
Since the Council approves the funding and the school committee approves the final location, can members of both boards work together for the best interest of the students and taxpayers?
Lots of questions but the one thing that is clear is the Charter puts the location and construction approval in the hands of the School Commitee, while it is the City Council who is responsible to approve or deny the funding.
What could go wrong with a set up like that?