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City, School Officials Want to Move Forward on New Elementary School

School Committee votes to submit preliminary documents to state agency.

School and city officials have taken the first step toward a new .

The School Committee voted 7-0 last night that school Supt. Mark Donovan file a Statement of Interest with the Massachusetts School Building Authority for each of those two schools, listing, as required by the state agency, both buildings’ deficiencies.

In both schools, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are beyond their service life; dedicated space for science, pre-kindergarten and guidance is lacking; access to technology is limited because of electrical power constraints and handicapped access is severely limited, Donovan told the committee.

Mayor Scott Galvin told the committee that “I support (the submissions) wholeheartedly.”  No money needs to be committed now, he said, and the application puts the city in a better position for funding later. The city will see “if we can afford it later,” Galvin said.

The School Committee has discussed a new Hurld and Wyman School for a number of months.

The City Council has to take a similar vote, Donovan said.

The City Council voted 9-0 last week, on Oct. 18, for a resolution that Mayor Scott Galvin, Supt. Donovan and the School Committee file the statement of interest “to build a new Hurld-Wyman Elementary School.”

Five years ago, a task force recommended that the Wyman and Hurld Schools be combined. The task force did not recommend a site, but noted that each school site is too small “and, in the case of the Hurld site, wetlands further render the site unacceptable,” according to a letter dated Sept. 29, 2006 to then-Mayor Thomas McLaughlin from the 12-member School Building Task Force.

That task force also recommended that the Linscott-Rumford and Altavesta Elementary Schools be combined in a new building on the Altavesta School site and, first, that a new Goodyear School be built, preferably “on a portion of Leland Park or another suitable location that will serve the Goodyear community.”

A opened last month on the old Goodyear School site.

The task force included representatives from the , , , , and Elementary Schools and the school department, School Committee and City Council.

The group considered comments from residents at public hearings as well as results of a school facility needs survey conducted by the state building authority and an elementary school feasibility study conducted by Tappe Associates, Inc., according the group’s letter.

Then-Mayor Thomas McLaughlin charged the task force with “considering various options for school facilities’ improvement that would provide educational program access parity for all elementary children in the Woburn Public Schools,” according to the letter.

The task force recommended that Clapp Elementary School students be consolidated into another of the new elementary schools.

The School Committee spent about 10 minutes on the subject of submitting a Statements of Interest for the Wyman and Hurld Schools to the state school building agency. The committee voted 7-0 on two separate roll call votes to submit the documents.

When the City Council discussed the issue, several aldermen supported the resolution. Several raised questions, according to the meeting minutes, from how city would pay for the school project to which school or schools to address next to where the new school would be located. 

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