Newburyport, Elementary Schools

Elementary School Building Needs…sigh.

I don’t think the proposed Elementary School Building Needs thing has a chance of happening. 2 very “liberal” Newburyport City Councilors counseled (the Newburyport Daily News, November 7, 2006) that this new very elaborate, very, very expensive Elementary Building Needs thing wasn’t going to go over real big with your average tax payer. Amen to that. Me personally, I wouldn’t even think of going there.

Seems to me there are two options here.

One… if the community elementary school thing is important to folks (it always seemed important to the kids, the parents and the sense of community it fostered) that making due and scrunching in existing space is probably in order. Sorry, not the news some most probably wanted to hear. (Outrage in local cyberspace.)

Two… if brand new spanking, sparkling facilities are what is in wanted, then most probably a Walmart size elementary school at the Cherry Hill property is in order (that’s why the Cherry Hill property is there, I think.) The Kelly could be sold for big bucks. The Bresnahan could be sold for big bucks (hopefully to someone who would keep the neighborhood character in mind, maybe the playing fields could stick around for community and school purposes.) The Brown School could be sold for big bucks. Ditto on keeping the community character thing.

All of that selling of unbelievably expensive real estate, coupled with eventual state funds (40% — 60%) might make the tax payer more inclined to build a brand new fancy facility.

Plus 1 of each administrative positions etc is cheaper than 3.

A capital improvement plan for the Elementary, Middle and High Schools, tough but needed.

Having cake and eating it too, i.e. community schools (3 of them? Demolished and new at the Brown? 2 major renovations at the Bresnahan? A brand new spanking at Cherry Hill? [Newburyport Daily News, November 7, 2006] I don’t think so!) plus new and fancy is going to be a very hard sell. I’m not buying.

A very fancy Newburyport High School just happened and the wait in line for a Senior Center, much less parking for who knows what or where, not to mention all the other endless expensive stuff, is very real.

Sorry, practical, fiscal conservative — surprise!

Mary Eaton