Selectmen approve letters for state aid for school repairs

MARBLEHEAD – Selectmen have given their approval to the town’s first step in the new state school construction process.Members of the School Committee met with Selectmen last week to discuss the Statements of Interest that committee members approved at their March 22 meeting.The letters represent the first step in the process of obtaining state aid for repairs at the Gerry, Glover, Eveleth and Coffin elementary schools and the Marblehead Village School.Statements were scheduled to be mailed as soon as Selectmen approved them. Although the deadline for submissions is July 31, the state received 167 submissions by January.School Committee members Patricia Blackmer and Rob Dana and Interim Superintendent of Schools Philip Devaux told the selectmen that once the new Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) receives the statements the MSBA will verify them and begin discussing the repairs it is willing to help the town make.Selectmen approved all five statements individually. The sole concern was voiced by Selectman Judy Jacobi.”I want to make sure I’m not giving my blessing to the closing of the Gerry School,” she said.Devaux assured her it was too early to say what the specific plans were.A 2006 MSBA survey identified the Gerry and lower Glover schools as possible candidates for replacement, but the Gerry generated town-wide sympathy when it celebrated its 100th birthday last fall.The Marblehead Village School statement mentions health, safety and energy conservation concerns revolving around the school’s need for a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.The statements for the Gerry, Glover, Eveleth and Coffin schools mentioned several concerns revolving around the age of the four buildings – health and safety, severe overcrowding, potential loss of accreditation, a new heating system to increase energy conservation and building obsolescence.

More Stories In News