Friday, September 26, 2008

Something to Consider

As Longmeadow moves forward on the path toward the construction of a new high school, the newly formed Longmeadow School Building Committee should consider our new high school project being included in the Massachusetts School Building Authority's Model Schools Program.

This program considers use of existing designs in order to reduce the overall cost. According to a recent article in the Boston Globe the town of Norwood, MA which is ahead of Longmeadow with the new HS building process is considering this option. With this new program the state also provides financial incentives for towns involved to reduce the financial impact.

The picture above shows Whitman-Hanson High School in Whitman, MA built in 2005 which currently accommodates 1,250 students in grades 9 through 12 and is projected to meet the district’s needs for 50 years. The 232,000-square-foot school cost $49.2 million.

According to an article in the Patriot Ledger.... "the school is also a pilot project for the Massachusetts Green Initiative, a partnership between the School Building Authority and Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. Natural light reduces consumption of electricity. The building is well insulated and has a 51-kilowatt solar electric array on the roof. A 20,000-gallon underground tank collects storm runoff from the roof; the water is used to flush the school’s toilets."

Perhaps, we might not end up with a "unique" building structure but the financial impact on our town might be significantly reduced.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Longmeadow High School Project

For all those interested in the future of our high school, please read the following, mark your calendar and forward to your fellow residents:

Historically fall Town Meetings are attended by less than 100 residents. These 100 or so residents vote on warrant articles that impact the entire town--all 15,000 of us.

This fall town meeting will be held on October 28th at 7:00pm in the High School Auditorium.

This is a VERY IMPORTANT meeting for all residents who are concerned about the condition and future of the High School. There will be a warrant article to appropriate the funds needed to begin the study of a long term solution for the high school building.

If the warrant article passes at Town Meeting then we must turn our attention to November 4th. On the ballot there will be a debt exclusion question to raise the funds needed for the high school study. So please note that if the warrant passes at Town Meeting that does not mean we have the funds, it only means that we may use the funds if they are approved on November 4th.

If the warrant article fails at Town Meeting then the November ballot question is null and void and we do not have the choice to raise funds on that date. The Select Board will need to decide if they wish to hold a special town meeting and special election to raise the high school funding option to the town again. This second go around is not guaranteed and costs the tax payers money.

We simply cannot let this unique opportunity pass us by. If so, we will be giving up potentially millions of dollars in state reimbursement. Let's not allow less than 100folks determine the fate of our high school. Now is the time to get involved!

So, lets vote YES on the warrant article for the High School Building Project at town meeting October 28th and YES on the Debt Exclusion ballot question on November 4th.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Longmeadow- One of the Top 10 Healthy Places to Retire

Longmeadow was selected this week as one of the "Top 10 Healthiest Places to Retire" by the online version of the US News and World Report.

Selection criteria was as follows:

"These are places way ahead of the healthy living curve—they provide numerous places to exercise, promote strong social support, and encourage healthy lifestyle habits. And each has a little something extra, too."

Read the full story on Longmeadow and don't miss the photo gallery .... you will see some familiar faces and names.

Some personal reflections...

My wife and I have lived in Longmeadow for 28 years- the last 5½ years after my retirement from Monsanto/ Solutia. In contrast to a number of our friends and my work colleagues who have moved elsewhere for warmer weather and other reasons, we consider Longmeadow our retirement home and are very happy with the lifestyle that we enjoy here.

If you have some comments about this US News and World Report, please take some time to share them on the LongmeadowBuzz blog.