Clarksburg Officials United Over School Building Woes
Clarksburg officials are trying to eliminate the fingerpointing over the condition of the elementary school and offer a united front to both the town and state in raising funds to address the 50-year-old structure's many needs.
iBerkshires.com reports addressing the significant issues at the school after voters rejected a $19 million renovation has been a struggle that's often led to tension between town and school officials, confusion over responsibilities and a lack of guidance to a group of volunteers attempting to fix the problems.
Selectmen Chairman Ronald Boucher.had asked for Thursday's joint meeting between the Select Board, School Committee and members of the volunteer school building committee. Nearly 20 attended the meeting, and the hourlong discussion pointed to the difficulties in working through the situation.
Who's responsible for the school? Who should be managing the bidding? Where was the money coming from? And was the building worth fixing?
The potential benefits of merging with Stamford, Vt., aren't fully known yet but members of the building committee were confident the school itself was structurally sound and worth saving.
But it does need 100s of thousands of dollars in updates, at minimum. The feasibility study came up with a rough estimate of $4 million to address immediate issues. Among those are priorities identified as the heating system, bathrooms, handicapped accessibility, asbestos, the roof and security.
The Select Board has agreed to place a $1 million debt exclusion before voters that would be split between the town and school to address building and infrastructure issues.
That show of support may be critical in getting the $500,000 earmarked in state funds to fix the building's main roof. The earmark was placed by state Sen. Adam Hinds but Robert Norcross, who's heading the school building committee, said he'd been told the state may not give the money if the building is seen as "crumbling."