Chariho School Parents’ Forum

July 26, 2007

Confidence in the plan?

Filed under: bond — Editor @ 4:11 pm

First of all, let me again apologize for my lack of posts.  It may be this way for a while, and I am contemplating opening access to someone/others to contribute.  My attention may be elsewhere at times and I don’t want parents to miss anything.

 That being said, I couldn’t help commenting on today’s Chariho Times article

Other than telling us that the vote for the bond will be November 6th, it also gives us a good indication of the amount of confidence we should have in the plan.

As previously noted, there was a problem with the well location and the building plan.  Clearly, someone didn’t think that through.  But then I read this:

“It was our desire to have the library in the courtyard, but with the existing underground utilities made it too difficult to build there,” said Building Committee President Gregory Kenney. “With a new well we would have had a lot more restrictions than with an existing well.”

Kenney said if the building committee went forward with having a new library in the courtyard, DEM regulations may have put the school district in a position where they may have had to purchase another piece of land to accommodate a new well.

Instead of the courtyard, if voters approve the Chariho bond this November, the new library will be located between the campus’ high school and career & tech center.

This is actually a much better plan. It makes a lot more sense,” said Ricci days after the recent school committee meeting. “For students this location will allow a bridge between the high school and the career and tech center.”

 Everyone knows where I stand on this bond
1)  We should not pass a bond to deal with maintenance costs – maintenance is a budget item.  If you can’t fit it into the budget, fix the budget (i.e. trim costs). 
2)  We should not build an extension to the Middle School when the vast majority of parents want their 5th and 6th (some even say 7th and 8th) graders back at the Elementary/local town school. 
3) We should not build a permanent building for a program that has not been proven effective, nor cost efficient.  Nor have we definitively determined if it was legally established.

But even if we put all that aside (which is not a wise thing to do), now we see –
1) that the building committee missed an obvious problem (the location of the well) and
2) according to Superintendent Ricci, that the building committee missed a “much better” placement for the library that would provide cover for students traveling from HS to CTC.

So, how much confidence do you have in the plan?

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5 Comments »

  1. I do miss the regular updates. At the very least, I expect it makes school officials aware that they no longer have carte blanche to sucker the parents and taxpayers without risking exposure.

    Since I had no intentions of supporting the ridiculous bond in the first place, new revelations simply substantiate what I already knew to be a foolish and unnecessary building plan.

    My wife notes that Chariho has put a conceptualization drawing on their website for anyone who wishes to have a peek at Mr. Ricci’s, etal. fantasies.

    The school already gouges taxpayers. I fervently hope that Hopkinton does what it needs to do and delivers the message that we are tired of them wasting our money building their kingdom. Alas, I have no faith in the wisdom of Richmond and Charlestown voters.

    Comment by Curious Resident — July 27, 2007 @ 3:52 pm | Reply

  2. I agree with you Mr. Felkner. It is obvious to me that the town of Hopkinton wants their 5th and 6th graders back in the elementary schools. It makes no sense to add on to the campus when the only thing that makes sense is to repair, expand, and/or build a new elementary school between Hope Valley and Ashaway, whatever makes sense for us and is hopefully the most inexpensive approach possible.

    I also agree that maintenance and repairs should be in the budget and cuts should be made in other places. Perhaps, the administration and school committee should look at where every dime is spent, for supplies, buildings, and employees.

    I also, think the websites need to updated. Granted it has been a couple of months since I looked at the individual websites, but it would be nice to see where our staff is located, not those who were there 2 plus years ago as was the case in one of the websites. It is our right to know who our children are exposed to. All personnel should be posted on these sites. Changes need to be made as they happen. If anyone has a problem with that, then they need to find a new line of work. Whose responsibility is it to keep them up to date?

    Comment by Lois Buck — July 31, 2007 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

  3. Hello all. Per the voters’ request, the group looking into the options for moving Hopkinton 5th and 6th graders back to elementary groups has been started. At this time it is an ad hoc committee. I’m told that ad hoc allows us the flexibility to independently work on the multitude of options. Less meeting and more work is right up my alley!

    I’ll be looking into cost estimates for a variety of options. A couple of others will also be doing this part. I’m still waiting for information and a listing of some of the potential options. I have reviewed a floor plan for Ashaway and Hope Valley schools, and with a cursory review, it seems to me that the schools can easily handle K through 5th grade. If the 1904 building is included, there easily should be enough space for K through 7th.

    There has been some talk of estimating renovations of the schools, but I tend to not favor this approach, at least not if it is linked to bringing back 5th and 6th grades. If renovations are needed, I would like to see this presented as a separate option. My view is that the voters do not need or want another building committee proposal and I’m not comfortable going beyond the scope of the voters’ request.

    Also, I feel Chariho should be responsible for renovations to the extent possible. Why should Hopkinton taxes go to Chariho for building maintenance and then go directly to the schools because Chariho is not maintaining the buildings? It’s like we are paying for the same thing twice.

    I’ll try to come here to keep you posted as things evolve. Please don’t hesitate to offer me suggestions or criticisms if you think I’m off track. I’d like to get this done so our children can be put back into the appropriate educational environment ASAP.

    Comment by Jim LaBrosse — August 3, 2007 @ 7:38 pm | Reply

  4. Good afternoon,

    I wish to follow up on Jim Labrosse’s comment. We have begun the research into the 5th and 6th grade referendum question. It has been divided into three parts and anyone who would like to assist in these areas should call me at home – 377-2254 and I will get you in touch with the persons working on each section.

    The first area is Why we would like to return the children to a K-6 format. Lois Buck will head this direction. She and others will research the studies on grade configuration and national scoring, preventing delinquentcy, strengthening emotional well-being and the family unit through these early years, etc. Even the school board realizes that the overwhelming majority of people in all three towns would like to see the return of the 5th and 6th to their home town elementary school as much as that is possible.

    The second section will be the research needed on ‘special needs’. The mandates where spatial needs exist(classrooms or offices for speech, physical therapy, learning assistance, etc.) must be planned for within our present elementary school buildings or portables. These classrooms may be able to fluctuate between elementary schools in the district.

    The third area is cost. Jim Labrosse and myself will be researching this portion of the question. We want to know the least amount of money needed to bring the 5th and 6th graders back to Hope Valley and Ashaway. We will also let the citizens know the approximate costs of upgrading options.

    The questions are quite complex and anyone wishing to assist any of us or comment on an area, or just question us is welcome to do so. We will have workshops once we have something to discuss.

    Comment by BarbaraC — August 9, 2007 @ 2:33 pm | Reply

  5. […] by Jim LaBrosse — August 3, 2007 @ 7:38 pm | Edit […]

    Pingback by Chariho School Parents’ Forum — August 10, 2007 @ 10:18 am | Reply


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