Katherine Craven, Executive Director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) visited Longmeadow this past Wednesday, May 19 to provide commentary and answer questions about the new High School Project. I was particularly interested in this session and had submitted the following question:
There are many people in Longmeadow who believe that the current high school building project as developed by the School Building Committee and approved by the MSBA is too costly. If the June 8 ballot question on the Proposition 2½ debt exclusion override is defeated, would the MSBA be receptive to an alternative proposal that significantly reduces the overall cost to the town by modifying/eliminating the "renovation" portion of the project scope but retains the MSBA reimbursed portion?
Ms. Craven provided the answer that I was expecting to hear since she would not want to sabotage the upcoming Special Town Meeting and Town Election result.
Ms. Craven indicated that any changes in the scope and/or cost of the current "as MSBA approved" project + scope would need to be revisited by the SBC, project architects and MSBA before a new path forward could be determined and that might take some time. With the current backlog of projects that might not be accomplished before the end of 2010.
However, the door was left open for an alternative project scope in the event of a failed vote at town meeting or on election day. Ms. Craven stated at least 4-5 times during her comments that "there is no line" and that the MSBA recognizes Longmeadow's urgent need for a new/renovated high school and would be willing to discuss potential options with Longmeadow.
Below are some short video excerpts of Ms. Craven's comments and answers to specific questions (provided by LCTV).
To view the entire SBC public forum, click the links below: