As a member of the Crocker Farm Study Advisory Board, I respectfully object to the request from School Committee members Peter Demling and Allison McDonald to remove the cost estimates chart (see below) from the Crocker Farm Expansion Study final report.
In principle, I do not subscribe to the belief that elected officials should be permitted to modify a consultant’s report after it is completed, especially without the support of the study’s Advisory Board.
Secondly, I disagree with the contention by Demling and McDonald that it was “out of scope” to include the estimated cost of the consolidated school for each enrollment scenario in the report. Having the full picture for an elementary school solution is exactly what the School Committee and Council need to help guide decision-making. It is troubling to me that two School Committee members would want to withhold that information from the public.
Both Superintendent Michael Morris and School Committee member Ben Herrington were part of the Advisory Board and vetted the report before it was finalized. In order to estimate the cost of an expanded Crocker Farm, it was necessary to know what would be located at the other school building in a two-school system. This work resulted in detailed space summaries for each building under each of the five enrollment scenarios, and it is that resulting square footage combined with the per-square-foot cost estimates and MSBA effective reimbursement analysis from the Fort River Feasibility Study that guides the cost estimates.
Toni Cunningham is a member of the Crocker Farm Study Advisory Board, an avid follower of town government, the mother of two girls, and a former Town Meeting member from Precinct 3.