Meeting Recap: School Committee

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By Max Bowen

max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

At its meeting on Monday, Nov, 4, the School Committee reviewed capital improvement plans, heard from student representatives, and took comments from a member of the public.

Capital Improvement Plan

At a meeting two weeks ago, the Capital Improvement Subcommittee reviewed a list of proposed repair and renovation projects, which include replacing the bleachers at North Attleborough High School, a feasibility study for the Massachusetts School Building Authority, and upgrades to the energy management system.

During the meeting, Chairman James McKenna asked if the committee should hold off on approval to see the available funds, which may necessitate changing the list of requests. Town Councilor Justin Pare, who was in attendance, encouraged them to move forward, and a motion to approve the list for submission to the Acting Town Manager was passed.

Student Representative Report

Maria Fitian, Sam Osa-Agbontaen, and Shruti Srinivasan updated the committee on the recent Student Voice Summit, which included a survey completed by ¼ of the students on what they liked about the school. They found that many felt the morning announcements weren’t effective and plans are in place to improve this. The representatives suggested that an official list of extracurricular programs be made to keep students better informed of their options.

Resident comments on school spending

Martin Tragni, a resident of Franklin Avenue, went before the committee to speak on the proposed spending for capital improvements, particularly the new bleachers. He asked the committee why more work hadn’t been done to maintain what was already there.

Maybe you don’t have a problem with the higher taxes, but I do,” he said.

McKenna said that studies and minor repair work had been done on the bleachers, and that at the time, it was believed the bleachers would last longer.

Tragni added that minutes from past meetings needed to be posted sooner, so that parents can be better informed as to what has happened.

Facilities report

Director of Facilities and Grounds Kyle Kummer provided an update on recent work done at the schools. He said the staff work on between 50 and 70 work orders per month, and one third come about while working on other projects. Among the orders that have been completed are replacing radiator covers and irrigation work at Donato Field. Future projects include new modular units and demolition of the high school bleachers.