Long-term Goals the Focus in Lunenburg
LUNENBURG -- School and town officials say Turkey Hill Elementary School is going to need a roof replacement within the next five years, which has prompted them to start planning future use for the building.
The School Committee and Board of Selectmen held a joint meeting Wednesday to talk about capital projects for the school and other areas where the boards look to work together.
“We discussed the fact that a decision will have to be made within the next three to five years about the future of the existing Turkey Hill elementary,” said Superintendent Kate Burnham. “There could be possible (Massachusetts School Building Authority) support for renovation or a new school.”
Board Chair Jamie Toale said the question is whether to extend the life of Turkey Hill by repairing the roof or building an addition.
To get started, the committee invited selectmen to visit the school to consider its long-term use and develop a plan, said School Committee Chair Heather Sroka.
That tour will also allow the board to see the work Facilities Director John Londa has done with asbestos abatement, which has two years left, she said.
Turkey Hill opened in 1969 and had its last renovation in 2004, according to the MSBA.
Another school building that the committee and board discussed future plans for was the former T.C. Passios School.
“It gave us an opportunity to say there’s space in the Passios as swing space as we plan for the future,” Toale said.
Selectmen are planning to move town offices to the 57,000-square-foot building.
Burnham said the school department may need space in the former school for its extended day programs due to anticipated increased enrollment.
Once the committee receives schematics for T.C. Passios, it will discuss if there are other needs for space there, Sroka said.
If the building is used for municipal offices and school programs, there may be need security needs that are specific for schools, she said. For example, a wing in T.C. Passios dedicated to school programing may need key-card access.
The board and committee also determined that the town manager should be part of the next round of teacher negotiations and the budget process.
Toale said the workshop was the chance for a clean slate with a new superintendent as the board and committee move forward with planning.
“We want to cooperate and collaborate more than in the past,” Sroka said. “It’s good to be on the same page.”
Burnham added that the joint meeting was an opportunity to work on issues that are important to board the committee.
“I have no doubt that we can accomplish great things working together,” she said.
In other business, the School Committee awarded the Superintendent’s Award to senior Elizabeth Walsh. She has taken various honors courses and is captain of the varsity field hockey team.
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