I remember when the “Elementary School Building Needs” Committee was first assembled and got to rock and rolling. A large, very committed group (many of whom I greatly admire.)
Yes, they were given an assignment: Come up with the most desirable scenario for the building needs of our elementary school children. The needs apparently included a “gym” which immediately eliminated the Kelly School from the equation, which I always thought was part of the unspoken assignment. Made it very difficult for pro-Kelly School folks on that committee, let me tell you.
And if you read the final recommendations of 2002, which are on the Newburyport School website (and it’s not exactly snappy stuff, good reading if you want to fall asleep quickly at night,) the conclusions almost sound as if they are there to make sure that the Kelly School stays out of the picture.
And I always thought the recommendations were so convoluted that no one in their right mind would actually take this much agonized over document seriously, hence its being stuffed in a “convenient” drawer for all these years.
Ah, but apparently, I was wrong.
The assignment for these hard working folks was not: Come up with a long term elementary school plan that benefits our children and would also fit in with the goals of the larger community.
If that had been the assignment, the convoluted, agonized over document would not be what it is now. We would have had something much more reasonable and thoughtful, because the people who worked on it were reasonable and thoughtful folks.
The root of the problem, as far as I’m concerned — lousy (politically motivated) assignment for hard working committee members.
Time for a new assignment right away, one that requires a realistic view of the Newburyport Schools real estate assets, the needs of our elementary school children (with all those state mandates,) and the overall fiscal picture (which is bleak) of Newburyport, MA.
With that assignment, I think a completely different picture of what could be built (or fixed) for our elementary school children would emerge. And hopefully, it would not take a year or more to accomplish. And hopefully, that picture would be a much easier “sell” to the taxpayer and we would have one of those delightful “win-win” situations.
As it stands now, this is a “lose-lose” proposition. School Committee, go back to the drawing board real quick. Don’t waste our time trying to sell us this incredibly silly, convoluted $30 million diamond necklace elementary school building needs stuff. Please.