GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Top Stories

April 3, 2013

Tobey eyes ballot question on school

As the School Committee works through the steps to replace or repair Gloucester’s West Parish school, with bonding for the project eventually requiring a city council vote, one city councilor is proposing to ask residents whether they want to see the project push forward with new school construction.

At-large city councilor and former four-term mayor Bruce Tobey has submitted an order for the council to vote on placing the potential school construction question on the November ballot, intended to spark discussion and promote planning for future uses of city-owned past and present elementary school buildings.

The question would be non-binding, as an advisory ballot question, Tobey said.

“(But) this is not to pass the buck to the voters,” Tobey said. “The council is charged to make decisions with comprehensive community planning and broad community input.”

Tobey called for the council vote on implementing the proposed ballot question on the same day that city and school officials attended a tour at a new Dedham elementary school that could act as the official model for a rebuild of the West Parish Elementary School.

The following day, school officials, including School Committee Chairman Jonathan Pope, met with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), the state organization that will reimburse the city for 48.27 percent of a school build or renovation that the MSBA would pre-approve.

The School Committee’s contracted architect, Dore & Whittier Architects Inc., will now create a feasibility study featuring three options for construction or renovation. The MSBA must approve those options if the city intends to seek the state’s funding.

“We’re in the step of developing three possibilities for replacing West Parish and those three could include anything that (the architects) come up with,” Pope said. “The considerations are the financial feasibility of each project and the educational demand being met.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Top Stories

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City