In an article printed in The Saugus Advocate last week, Metro Tech School Building Committee Chair Theodore Nickole, School Committee Chair Deborah Davis, and School Committee Vice Chair Judith Dyment made many erroneous statements about the opposition to the currently proposed building location of the new school.
If it was a “NIMBY agenda” as they claim, we might be suggesting the school be built in one of the other 12 communities that send their students to the school, or that it be located elsewhere in Wakefield.
The 6,000 (and counting) people who signed the petition have only requested that the construction be done on already disturbed land, such as the playing fields and parking areas, rather than cutting down the forest, blasting the hillside, destroying and displacing wildlife that the current location would involve.
The originally chosen location was in fact much more appropriate for this project. It is still on the school property and would have the same benefits of being adjacent to another school so they could perhaps share athletic fields while the construction goes on, lessening even that temporary inconvenience.
And how can they claim that the opponents of the current location actually oppose the building project, since even the signs on front lawns say “Save the Forest AND Build The Voke”. While everyone would be glad to see some trees planted around the school and parking lots, new trees are hardly a replacement for a forest ecosystem and the soil community that supports it which take many decades to develop.
The building committee has been ignoring concerns presented in public meetings about the location, and have been continuing to spend money on developing plans for the least preferred location on the site, which seems sure to add to the final expenses and create delays on the start and completion of the project. The first school design was not as large as the current plan, but altering the original details or building an extra story to add space were never among the objections I have heard.
Building a new access road just a short distance from the entrance that the Wakefield school will still be using seems unlikely to relieve any traffic concerns, and there will be many more steps and ramps necessary to allow people to go back and forth between the fields, parking lots, and school building than would have been otherwise needed.