Another meeting that will attract a Crowd
The purpose of the meeting is granting the city permission to continue on with having the MSBA look at the environmental, geographical conservation and other issues related to the high school project.
The Open Meeting Law states that “all meetings of a public body shall be open to the public,” with exceptions for closed sessions discussed below. The Open Meeting Law does not give the public a right to participate or comment during open meetings. As a matter of practice, however, public bodies often allow members of the public to comment during public meetings. No one may address a public meeting of a public body without permission of the presiding officer, and all persons must be silent upon request of the presiding officer. See Mass Gen. Laws. ch. 30A, § 20.
Massachusetts law requires public bodies to give notice to the public of its meetings. A public body must provide notice at least forty-eight hours in advance (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays). The notice must contain the date, time, and place of the meeting. See Mass Gen. Laws. ch. 30A, § 20.
Can someone from the Administration please ask LTC to assign staff to broadcast this meeting!
Lowell Students will be the big losers!
I’ve witnessed first hand that the groups or campaigns or whatever you want to call the Cawley or Downtown coalitions, are getting so dug in that they refuse to listen to anything that goes against their beliefs and even if you agree where the school goes you get chastised by some for even being able to see the other sides viewpoint let alone agree with any aspect of it. This is what I feared would happen.
My opinion is that if this continues and we have to fund the project by debt exclusion the losers of this fight will be the students of Lowell because it will not pass the voters because it is to divisive.
Only 2 REAL Options Exist
I think that a new LHS comes down to 2 sites – Cawley and the existing site expanded which includes taking the Dentist Office (Option 3).
Here is my breakdown of the positives – the negatives and the questions that still need to be answered. Until we get the next surveys completed not much else can be said.
Since my personal preference is Cawley I will lead off with that.
The picture summary was in the presentation to the building committee / city council
Positives – Brand New Building, state of the art, ability to expand if needed, easier to secure, meets educational requirements, better lighting in classrooms,more energy efficient, more green space, unites the athletic fields, no disruptions to existing students during construction , no modulars. Suburban setting. New but small auditorium.
3 year build schedule
Negatives – Distance and transportation, effect on walkers, article 97 restrictions, Utility needs, wildlife and environmental concerns, effect on social-services- family and work issues students require, ability for parents/guardians to get to location. How does it affect Adult education programs. Loss of Pool, Loss of Restaurant, Loss of 3 Auditoriums (Freshman, Little Theater, Irish)
Unknown – Transportation Plan and cost , Drop off and pick up plan, how tardy students will get to school. How adult ed students will get there. Affects on traffic on Rte. 38, Clark Road, Douglas Road and surrounding roadways.
Downtown Option 3
Positives – Centrally located, easy access for walkers , easy access to Social service Agencies and work opportunities for students, multiple drop-off / pick up locations , Urban setting, meets many of the educational objectives, close to many stores, library and downtown attractions including bus line. No new transportation cost , meets Dr. Pat Mogan’s vision of eduction without walls. Keeps 3 Auditoriums (Freshman, Little Theater, Irish) and Restaurant. Known traffic issues.
Negatives – Some Windowless classrooms remain, limited green space, does not meet some educational objectives, community/activity areas spread/split, solar orientation is problematic, possible environmental issues, Higher operating costs, no swimming pool, possible modular classrooms. Students exposed to construction work and noise. Length of completion 4+ years.
Unknown – Asbestos Exposure, amount construction noise and possible dust/debris, Schedule of classes, cost of Eminent Domain, location of construction equipment.
Estimated cost will continue to fluctuate depending on length of time , reimbursables and other variables. Downtown may start out cheaper on paper but could grow with cost of eminent domain and stricter enforcement of Asbestos removal.
City currently has $3.6 Million allocated for asbestos and almost $20 million in contingency funding (Const. cost / design cost / soft cost).