The School Space Committee

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from bms. Show bms's posts

    The School Space Committee

    It's not panic mode if there is an actual effect. I am talking about parents who immediately started going on about radon, or chemicals under the playground (yes, I heard that one), or heaven knows what else, which distracts from the real problem. And not to take away from those staff and kids that did have a problem, but it was not a large percentage of the Newman population by any means. I just don't want to see them throw the baby out with the bathwater if a less drastic solution can fix it.
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from needhammom. Show needhammom's posts

    The School Space Committee

    Amen to BMS (the above posting) for the most part. I have to agree that at this point, all conversation is theoretical and all options should be given their fair consideration. To eliminate anything at this point would be cutting the process short. There will be plenty of opportunity to debate the options once they are put forth by the school committee.

    I have to say that the dialogue that has been going on at many of the public meetings, as well as the letters to the editor in the Needham Times, have been selfish and detrimental to the collaborative process that will be required to get this solution funded and executed. These communications have done nothing but put forth an alarmist and divisive mentality that will not bode well when we need the ENTIRE town to rally and support a fix for Newman.

    What we should be focused on today is gaining consensus around the timing of the work. Unfortunately, there is not such consensus among town leadership and I have heard rumblings that some think it can wait until 2011 or 2012! Again, we need consensus among Newman parents, parents town-wide and the larger Needham Community that this issue, which has been on the docket to be fixed since 1999, gets address in the foreseeable future. It simple can't wait.

    As many of us with kids in Newman know, there have been at least 4 different issues with the HV system at Newman since school started and every time the system breaks the administration collectively holds its breath as we see if it can be fixed. As Superintendent Gutekanst has wisely noted, It's only a matter of time before a part goes that simply cannot be replaced because the system is so old that many of its parts are no longer available. I hope that happens before another steam pipe bursts.

    And as an aside...I am one of the parents who "jumped into panic mode" after seeing my child morph into a giant wheezing red tomato after handling books in the media center. And I did take the time to get all of the fact...and I also would be fine with my child being in part of Newman while construction is going on.

    Let's keep the dialogue going in the name of agreeing on the fact that Newman can't wait.

  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from bms. Show bms's posts

    The School Space Committee

    We need to consider all possibilities to deal with the need to safely house our students and fix broken schools. One of these possibilities may be that kids will actually survive if they are in part of Newman while other parts are renovated. And yes, my kids are at Newman. I am not saying Newman doesn't have physical plant issues, and I am not denying that some people had health issues. But kids were not dropping dead left and right, and I feel that some parents were far too quick to jump into panic mode before getting all the facts. I'm not sure what the solution is, but I think to rule out any possibility at this stage will make it harder to find a solution.
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from BDCNewsEditor. Show BDCNewsEditor's posts

    The School Space Committee

    With Needham's schools squeezed for space, the town recently formed the School Space Committee. One of their main tasks will be relocating about 780 students during the overhaul of the Newman School’s heating and ventilation system. What do you think of the idea of this committee, and what issues do you think they should take on?
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from betterworld. Show betterworld's posts

    The School Space Committee

    I feel compelled to point out the factual errors reported in this article.

    The first error is in regard to which schools and renovations have been placed on the town Master Plan. The truth is that the renovation of Newman is currently, and has for some time been, on the town Master Plan. It has also been on the Town Meeting docket since 2000. However, renovations at the school, including the known deterioration of the underground duct work, the decay of the components of the HV system, and electrical, and cafeteria safety upgrades, to name a few issues, have been trumped for the past eight years by more pressing town building emergencies.

    The second error is the name of the school that is in the process of being renovated as the new 6th Grade Center: the school that is currently being renovated is High Rock, and not Hillside as was reported in the article.

    The plain and simple truth is that several of the schools in Needham are overcrowded and are sorely in need of renovations of varying kinds and degrees. Examining swing space for any and all school renovations should certainly be one of the tasks of the School Space Committee, as should a frank and honest discussion of the future utilization of the school buildings as elementary school enrollment in the town continues to grow. However, it would be nothing short of a travesty to hinge the timing and scope of the Newman renovations on these discussions.

    Regardless of the final report of School Space Committee and its recommendations for the schools in Needham, it must be noted again that Newman has been waiting patiently for more than eight years for its renovations. Had it not been for the incredibly unfortunate and dangerous heating and ventilation related events of last year, one wonders how much longer the wait might have been.

    We owe it to the more than 800 children and staff at Newman to address these safety issues without any further delay. There is not a person in this town who would not be devastated should another steam pipe burst or a length of duct work collapse, and in so doing cause physical harm to one more child or staff member at Newman school. As its first task, the School Space Committee should openly and formally recognize this issue and should state categorically that its findings should neither hamper nor impede the process of the Newman renovations.