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Obremski presents ambitious five-year Capital Improvement Plan

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  Looking ahead over the next five fiscal years, Assistant Superintendent of Operations Charles Obremski recently outlined a series of capital requests totaling approximately $17.6 million. He said the district is seeking an investment of $6.7 million to fund the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for fiscal year 2023.

  The largest item in this CIP is a $2 million request to install modular classrooms at the Keverian School. “This is a big ask. I don’t know if this is possible,” Obremski said during the April 5 School Committee meeting.

  The school was originally designed to accommodate 650 students; however, enrollment has now climbed to 950 students. Therefore, Obremski said, modular classrooms would alleviate overcrowding at the Keverian School. Because the modular classrooms would be located in the front of the school, he said, it is possible that 16 parking spaces could be lost.

 School Committee Vice Chairman Michael McLaughlin agreed that action is needed. “The Keverian School is a growing problem; this one is growing exponentially,” he said.

  However, he also said modular classrooms may not necessarily be the solution. “I would hate to see us make a short-term solution for a long-term problem,” said McLaughlin.

  Other requests include $500,000 for a new parking lot at the Madeline English School, $500,000 to replace the ceiling at the Whittier School and $600,000 to replace the clocks and phone system throughout the district. Obremski said he and his colleagues looked at the phone systems in Somerville and Melrose and at Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School in Danvers.

  He also spoke about investing $300,000 to put classrooms in the space that formerly housed the Anna May Powers Health Center at the Keverian School. “We’re looking to get that done ASAP,” said Obremski, “if we could even get the money from the city now so we can get this project started.”

  The CIP budget for fiscal year 2024 currently totals $2.6 million. It would include $1.2 million to replace the Honeywell Automation System at Everett High School, $650,000 to replace the wall around the parking lot at the Parlin School and $500,000 for new drain pipes at the Adams School.

  Thus far, the largest request of the entire five-year plan is expected in fiscal year 2025. At that time, the district will be seeking an investment of $3.5 million to make the Parlin School completely handicapped-accessible. However, Obremski said this request is nothing new. “This has been ongoing for a number of years,” he said. “We keep coming before you with this request.”

  In addition, $1 million would be needed to replace the roof at the Lafayette School, $250,000 to replace wall air conditioners at the Parlin School and $150,000 for a new parking lot at the School Administration Building. The total for that year’s CIP is $5.2 million.

  The CIP for fiscal year 2026 totals $2.3 million. Within that figure, the district would be requesting $1 million to replace the roof at the Madeline English School, $750,000 to replace the roof at the Keverian School and $608,261 for two new Air Cooling Condensing Units (ACCU) at the Lafayette School.

  So far, $626,622 would be requested to fund the CIP for fiscal year 2027. That amount would be used for two new ACCUs at the Madeline English School.

  The School Committee voted unanimously to revisit the matter at its next meeting on April 25.

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