Sunday, June 6, 2010

Decision Making

Prior to Tuesday's vote on whether to accept a grant from the Commonwealth or to turn it away, Longmeadow voters will finalize their decision.

It may be helpful to review how the Massachusetts School Building Authority reached its decision about why the Commonwealth should offer the grant at all.
What options were available?
Option 1A –Systems Renovation and Code Compliance
Option 1B –Renovation
Option 2A.1–Renovation / Demolition / Addition
*New Classroom Wing; Eliminate Two Courtyards
Option 2A.2 –Renovation / Demolition / Addition
*New Classroom Wing; Eliminate Two Courtyards
Media Center Located in Third Courtyard
Option 2B –Renovation / Demolition / Addition
*Retain 1971 Wing; New Addition with Classroom and Primary Core Spaces
Option 3A –New Construction Located Adjacent to Existing Building
Option 3B –Model School Located Across Bliss Road
Option 4 –Do Nothing

What criteria guided MSBA's decision to fund Option 2B?

ne Craven, Executive Director of MSBA at her visit to Longmeadow on May 19, 2010 gave several reasons why the MSBA supports this project:

“Numerous ADA (American with Disabilities Act) [Compliance] Issues”

* Elevator is undersized
* Accessibility issues-Locker Rooms, Library, Stairwells, Auditorium, Cafeteria, Gymnasium, Bathrooms
* Door widths
* Hardware

One of three statutory guidelines for consideration includes “Educational obsolescence

MSBA Expectations to Address Educational Obsolescence:
•Larger, energy efficient classrooms
•Greater flexibility and adaptability
•Support for information, media and technology skills
•Classroom clusters
•Modern, larger science facilities

Energy Efficient Design:
•Day Lighting Monitors
•Exterior Sunshades
•Interior Light Shelves

Craven added:
“We‘re looking to spend your state sales tax dollars in a way that‘s going to be far-reaching and far lasting –a 50-year project. We‘re trying to avoid getting into duct taping solutions."

•Right now we have the confluence of good construction costs with great borrowing rates
Projects are coming in 10% to as much as 25% below cost estimates.
•To us (MSBA) it’s the right time to put projects out on the street(in the next 12 months)

MSBA adds:
•―Our grant right now is for the project that is in front of you.
•―We have over 500 projects waiting
•―All of those projects are waiting because of the $34 M that we have committed here, which would go back into the ―pool for them to compete for."
•―No other community has come this far and failed to approve a project, scope and budget."

Emotions matter; but they cannot be used for hurtful purposes. When I was standing out by the Recycle Center this weekend, by myself, I handed out endorsement flyers and brochures from Lancer Pride. A DPW worker holding a baseball bat told me that I could not stand there. I had been talking in in a modest voice, and suggested calling the police myself. Unfortunately, another citizen who drove into the yard got involved, yelling to the DPW worker. The worker told me I had to leave. Eventually he called the police. I was concerned about his tone. While he called police, I took this photo:Luckily, the 2 cruisers who came by assured him that I had every right to be in that location, doing what I was doing. They explained to me that they had seen a lot of intensity about this issue. And they took my license plate number (not sure why).

Rebecca M. Townsend

PS: I am glad my YES vote is in good, positive company:

“We support the proposal for the new high school as necessary and in the best interests of the town. The new school will maintain our town’s value, reputation and competitive
position as a good place to buy a home and raise a family.”
Dean and Mary Rogeness

“We need to continue to re-invest in our town infrastructure and if it is excellence in education that we stand for, then we need our high school educational facilities to reflect and reinforce that statement.”
John Dowd, Longmeadow, Youth Sports Council

“This is a project whose time has come…. that the state selected Longmeadow over 100s of other projects reflects the tremendous need that we have, and the state’s recognition of that (need). If someone offers you a $78 million dollar project for $44 million of local money, we need to take it… the final design will meet the needs of Longmeadow students…far into the future.”
Larry Starr, Millennium Task Force, High School Council

“We live in a first class town with a third rate high school structure, which is unsafe and outdated. Longmeadow has a rare state-sponsored opportunity to make it much better. Our investment in education will support our children and our property values.”
Daniel R. Grow. MD, President of LEEF

“I am in full support of the Longmeadow High School project... like the school structure itself, the competitive advantage of the Longmeadow Public School education is eroding as neighboring community schools narrow the competitive gap, which lowers our property values and community self-worth. Please… support of the Longmeadow High School project for the betterment of our children and our community.”
Todd C. Ratner, Esquire, Bacon Wilson P.C.

“I support the town’s undertaking of a new high school facility. There is no better time than today, with lower building cost and the State's facility match, to bring our high school into the 21st century.”
Steve Davis, LHS Class of 1976

"For the owners of the approximately 3000 homes, with children no longer in the Public Schools, the direct benefit of a YES vote is the maintenance of property values and the Longmeadow Property Value Premium (LPVP). We all know this LPVP is directly tied to the quality of our educational system, and that the majority of these same homeowners, will have a need to cash out in the next 5-25 years.
Pete Landon, CFO-Sisters of Providence, Inc., Former Chair, Longmeadow Audit Committee

"The design of a new/renovated Longmeadow High School submitted to and approved by the MSBA for funding includes a new academic building combined with a renovation of the 1971 wing. In my opinion, this is the right alternative. It keeps us competitive with other bedroom communities in providing a high school facility that can legitimately reach a 50-year lifecycle. It will allow our teachers today and tomorrow to fully take advantage of 21st century learning initiatives and it provides key academic and community spaces that our current footprint under any renovation plan would be difficult to match."
Peter Greenberg, Finance Committee

VOTE YES, with these folks, on Tuesday June 8, at the Community House!

The following Longmeadow residents support the Longmeadow High School project,
and encourage you to join them in voting YES on June 8th!

Dr. Steve and Ellen McKenna
Dean and Mary Rogeness
John and Paula Gallup
Moira Murphy
John and Jane Heaps
Mike Elder and Dr. AnnMaria Elder
Kim and Matt MacDonnell
Lyn Hopkins
Doug and Jennifer Shapiro
Gene and Cathy Cassidy
Diane and Paul Doherty, Esq.
Jim and Kit Polga
Jim and Barbara Sadowsky
Candy and Stanley Glazer
Matt Landon
Melinda and Henry Cropsey
Mark and Fran Cress
Gina and Owen Humphries
Cynthia Sommer
Lawrence Wilson
Deborah Haas-Wilson
Chris and Craig Carr
John and Bridget Wcislo
Peg Landon
Saul Finestone
Pete Thomsen
Stephanie Smith
Wendy and Derek Upson
Steve and Sherri Ehrenberg
Chris and Margaret Messier
Peter and Marge Greenberg
Mark Pinkowski
John and Samantha Quirk
Andrew and Christina Lam
Greg and Heidi Merchant
Michael and Tracy DeMarco
Tom and Erica Brunette
The Jorgensen Family
Lars Peterson
Raul E. Lorenzo
Lori Ann Lorenzo
Joseph and Mary Aberdale
Kathy and Mike Asinas
Melinda Lee
Marcie Kearing
Steven and Joann Landman
Margie Berg
Lisa Campbell
Mary Vogel and Bill Ravanesi
Thomas H. & Rebecca M. Townsend
Tim Keane and Jennifer Coupe
Dr. and Mrs. Craig Collins
Hilary and Brendan Coughlin
Beth and Bill Hoff
Jen and Tom Cosgrove
Dan and Elizabeth Wright
Paul and Carolyn Marchese
Jay and Gwen Bruns
John J. Fitzgerald
Benn and Kim Burns and family
Erin and Derek Beaulieu
Rick and Kathy Crews
Dave and Janet Echeverria
Mark and Laura Katz
The Barron Family
James and Gina Cass
The Tetreault Family
The Zak Family
Judy and Mike D’Angelo
Mary and Bob Neil
Ellen Donnelly and Greg Stevens
Christopher and Joy Cove
Caren and Mike DeMarche
The Cotnoir family
Dave and Allison Wheaton
The Henley Family
The Joyce Family
Courtney & Stephen Langieri
Seth and Jenna Goodman
Lori Byrne and Family
The Flynn family
Christine and Michael Cox and Family
Ray and Stephanie Smith
David and Susan Bayley
Lori and John Calabrese
Wayne and Kathy Nelson
Ed, Michele, David,
Eric & Daniel Borowsky
Daniel and Laurel Grow
Bruce, Bridget and Lynsey Keator
Jim and Denise Thomas
Rob and Sue Santaniello
Chris Moore and Michele Keane-Moore
Danielle and Christopher Burger
Kate Ryan
The Flynn Family
Lee and Nicole Vardakas
Dirk and Jen Johns
The Draymore Family
Jody Helmus
Patrick and Christina Foley and family
Jane Crosby and William Fleming
Terry and Dina Ditmar
Courtney and EJ Barkett and family
The Robert Engell family
The Dallas Family
Sheila Gregori
David and Karen Appleman
Bobby and Tracy Barkett
Papa and Berta Ekmalian
Ron and Tracey Proulx
The Roffo Family
Yvonne and Art Scolari
Carol Steele
The Travers family
Donna Novak
Jeff and Kim Davis
Daniel and Kelly Bergin
Roger and Erin Jarosz
Steve and Erin Dudeck
Kathy and Phil McBride
Jim and Mary Jude Kennedy
Debbie MacDonald
The Heger Family
The Gilmore Family
Eileen La Casse and Michael Porcello
Debbie and Eric Rubenstein
Maureen & Peter Bonavita
Todd and Denise Ditmar
Louise M. Croll
The Stocks family
Joe and Anne Marie Salvon
Sue and Al Herringshaw
Kevin and Stephanie McNair
The Salt of Longmeadow Organization
Anthony & Cathleen D’Angelo
Mark & Barbara Fydenkevez and family
Tom & Irina O'Hara
Val and Rashel Girshik
Roland & Kris Joyal and Family
June and JOOBOK Lee and family
Keith and Tina Cunningham
Scott and Robin Vuori
Laura and Barry O’Connor and Family
The Sambor family
Ann Burke
Thoma Miller
Jay and Mary Allard
John and Anne Valencia
Louise Croll
Mike and Miriam Sambor
Larry and Cindy Starr
Celeste Benoit
Todd and Amy Ratner
LEEF ~ (The Longmeadow Educational Excellence Foundation)
Authorized by the Lancer Pride Committee

Posted by Rebecca M. Townsend


Rebecca M. Townsend, Ph.D. said...

(post-post script from Rebecca)

I hope YES voters will also support Michael Clark and Christine Swanson, as the only two candidates who support the LHS Project.

More about Clark:
Endorsements of Town Residents

“I support Michael Clark becuase he exudes energy and a willingness to work hard for what’s best for longmeadow. It’s time for Longmeadow to utilize the minds of our bright young people in important positions”

-Saul Finestone 45 year resident of Longmeadow

“Michael Clark is an intelligent young man who cares about the future of Longmeadow. I support Michael Clark for Select Board because he will be an asset to our community.”

-Marty Wood 45 year resident

“I’ve known Michael personally and professionally for most of his life, and I can attest to his excellent character and integrity.”

-Elyse Lauro 25 year resident and local librarian

Rebecca M. Townsend, Ph.D. said...

I would like to update this story: DPW Director, Michael Wrabel, just issued me an apology from the Town. Thank you, Mr. Wrabel, for your professionalism.

Rebecca Townsend