Sunday Notes February 12th 2016


I refuse to allow my boys to be educated in a construction zone during their entire high school career.

The thing is rigged to keep it downtown!

Parking is in Tewksbury, it should be called the Tewksbury site !

The Cawley Site was predetermined, it’s a bag job!

Chelmsford modules lost power/heat this week. Something else to think about!

I don’t want “those kids” roaming around my neighborhood

Build it at Cawley and you will lose families from that neighborhood

He’s shooting off his mouth and spewing his opinion of where a High School should go and doesn’t even send his kid to a public high school!

Can we all please take a breath, step back and remember this renovation and/or addition or New School affects everyone in this city.

Whether they are part of the Downtown Neighborhood (which is a neighborhood) or have kids going to the High School or had kids who already went to the High School or send their kids to a Charter or Private School but own property and pay taxes here in the City.

The concerned residents of Belvidere aren’t being NIMBY, they will be impacted more than any other neighborhood if a new school is built there.

I’ve talked to some parents in Pawtucketville who are concerned about how their student will get from the Dracut Line to the Tewksbury Line or the Highland parents concerned about the possibility of having their student take 2 buses to get to school, 1 from the Chelmsford town line to downtown then the other out to Cawley.

There is a lot of information that still has to be vetted and explained (busing cost, traffic issues etc) and the last thing we need to do as a city is to start to turn on one another or pit neighbor against neighbor or neighborhood against neighborhood.

Like it or not the reality is that Economic Impact of placing it at Cawley and moving it out of the downtown has to be looked at and has to be considered.

It cannot go into the Hamilton Canal, the City Council has been clear, they want businesses in there, they didn’t want WINN to develop housing, they certainly do not want a High School there and it was never a considered location.

This Thursday go down to City Hall, express your concerns, traffic, noise, wetlands, modulars, environmental issues, disruption of classes, of your neighborhood, of air quality concerns, safety concerns and concerns of modulars etc.

State why you support 1 location over the other…Downtown is Centralized, easy access from all over the City, closer to medical, and social programs, the colleges, the National Park, the history of Lowell etc

Cawley a campus setting, everything brand new state of the art, no disruptions during building period, technology compatible etc.

PLEASE don’t threaten to not send your students or that you’ll sell your house or that you’ll vote out anyone who doesn’t support your opinion. That isn’t constructive let alone polite. Don’t applaud or boo someone…it makes the meeting last longer than needed..just go state your view, be open to listen to others and be respectful that the Council has scheduled this time to listen to real, legitimate concerns of the citizens-parents-business people.

I will be watching from home and tweeting. I get my views out here, on Facebook and on Saturday’s on WCAP so I don’t want to take the time of people who haven’t had the chance to speak.

I think based on the opportunity to build a brand new state of the art facility that the Cawley Site if the traffic can be somewhat mitigated and it can be shown won’t cause disaster to that neighborhood or negatively affect businesses in that area, the Stadium location is the best location for a NEW Lowell High. It’s one building, state of the art, provides a complete campus setting and meets all the goals set forth in the educational plans.

It makes no sense to do this renovation and expose students and staff to the known disruption that will be caused when it can be avoided

We have done several renovations, we know how disruptive they were and we know this is 10 or 20 times larger than any of the previous ones.

IF it is shown to be a logistical nightmare for transportation or if it is shown that removing it from the downtown will cause damage to those businesses then the only real choice to keep it downtown will be to take the dentist office and eliminate the need for most if not all modulars and required phys ed space (Not to mention basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and wrestling space for Varsity and JV sports).

I would support taking the Dentist Office land by Eminent Domain especially if the “Nutter Plan” or something like it was proposed that would keep those offices in the downtown and keep a taxable entity here in the city.

Regardless on where the final site is selected by the Council, I will support it, promote it, advocate for it and hope that the rest of the citizens of Lowell would do the same.

Random Observations!

1) The MSBA mandates that besides a renovation and a renovation with addition being brought forward, a NEW SCHOOL BUILDING Option also must get brought forward. The Building Committee voted down the WANG and building a new school on the Current Site or the proposed Expanded Site which is one of the reasons the Cawley Site was brought forward. At least one City Councilor thought that a New Building on a New Site was mandated and he thought that was the reason why Cawley was brought forward.

2) AT BOTH the Building Committee and City Council Meeting Option 2 and Option 3 required some modulars. At the Wednesday Night Belvidere meeting Ted Panos claimed Option 2 was given without mention of modulars while others stated option 3 didn’t require them. In any case the Administration of the City and/or the High School needs to make sure they aren’t making things appear to be rigged or things are changing because pressure is being brought on the Project Management team. Let them do their jobs and don’t give anyone the opportunity to suggest collusion.

3) There is no denying that Three School Committee members (Decouteaux Gendron and Doherty) along with Mayor Kennedy and Head of School Martin all want the High School downtown and it appears Councilor’s Milinazzo and Leahy are leaning that way. Haven’t heard firsthand from Martin, Hoey or Gignac.

4) Councilor’s Leary, Rourke and Mercier seem to be supportive of the Cawley Site. Councilor’s Elliott and Belanger appear to not have tipped their hand while Councilor Samaras agrees that the only real two options are the expanded addition w/ renovation for the downtown and the Cawley site.

Does the School Dept. really need $500,000?

The School Supt and Committee claim they need money for Para salaries because the grant was cut and the City “promised” it. If you recall I’ve asked about the Sept. vote by the School Committee asking the City for over $500,000 in additional funds and the fact that no follow up by anyone on this committee or this administration has been publicly done.

If you look at the budget update in this week’s SC packet you see that budget item 512958 PARA-PROFESSIONAL SALAR

The Original approved budgeted amount was $9,525,437.00 – Year to date spent is $4,133,821.54 and that $5,391,615.46 remains. So does the School Dept. need the money or not and one way or another why hasn’t a School Committee member asked about this since they took the vote 5 months ago?

How Long before this motion receives a response?

On the January 18th Agenda Connie Martin made the following motion which was approved by her fellow members.

7.I. [By Connie Martin]: Requesting that the Administration, including all members who are cited as School Committee Representatives, provide the Lowell School Committee with a complete report on the history and current status of the charge filed by the LSAA regarding parking for Central Administration LSAA union members. This report should include: the legal language differentiating a “charge” vs a “grievance” and notification protocols required by each, a timeline of past meetings with Union leadership and all associated documents and minutes from those meetings

Why hasn’t the motion been responded to and when will it be?

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