, Gloucester, MA

Breaking News

Letters/My View

September 9, 2013

Letter: Tobey column shows Fuller's school viablilty

To the editor:

My thanks to Councilor Tobey for shedding light on the actual condition of Fuller School in his My View Column headlined “A real inside look at Fuller School” (the Times, Wednesday, Sept. 4).

It concludes that Fuller School is in much better condition than has been publicly represented by our leaders in City Hall, on the School Committee, and on the City Council.

My thanks also to Councilor McGeary for sharing with me an important document, (3.1.6 Preliminary Evaluation of Alternatives, Dore & Whittier Architects, Inc.). It reveals how the $110 million estimate for the renovation of Fuller School was calculated. Dore & Whittier simply state that renovation of a portion (roughly half) of the Fuller School for the purpose of temporarily housing West Parish students is estimated to cost $67,011,000 — yet there is no documentation, no itemization of costs, and no explanation of how the estimate was derived. The $110 million figure was extrapolated by our leaders to reflect the added cost of renovating the remaining portion of Fuller School not included in the first estimate.

This is exactly what I have suspected all along — a guesstimate of the cost of renovating Fuller School has been presented as “fact” to the public in order to sway popular opinion away from considering Fuller as a viable school.

While I’m assured that Dore & Whittier are reputable architects, expert in school construction, I would like to know the methods of how they went about calculating this $67 million figure.

Would it not be in the best interests of the city (and taxpayers) to have something more than a “preliminary estimate” before such an important decision is made? Should a second opinion by an impartial third party be obtained before such an expensive project is commenced? I think so.

According to this same document the preliminary estimate for the cost of building a new West Parish school, after razing the current one, is $40,899,000. This is not a bid, and there could easily be cost overruns. Should we extrapolate the cost of replacing Beeman, East Gloucester, Plum Cove, and Veterans elementary schools as well? Are they likely to bear a similar estimated cost of $40 million each? Might the actual costs increase?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters/My View

NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man