ESBC Reveals Site Matrix Ahead of Saturday Forum

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On Tuesday, January 22nd, the Elementary School Building Committee met to discuss and compare possible sites for the Center School project.

The bulk of the meeting was spent evaluating the site matrix, comparing all 11 site possiblities on a wide range of criteria including program accomodation, district operations, and after construction effects on traffic.

There were no perfect sites, as chair Joe Markey noted as he went through each of the site criteria during the meeting. The center school scored highly when it came to town permitting with regards to construction and conservation, after construction effects on traffic, and public safety recommendations. However, the Center School site scored poorly when it came to schedule, disruption to education, and construction impact to neighbors.

The Irvine property received the greatest number of high marks, scoring a "5" (the highest rating) in areas such as disruption to education, site planning, and future growth and flexibility. The Todaro property also scored highly, with slightly lower scores for future growth and construction impact to neighbors than the Irvine proprety.

With regards to the Elmwood site, the plans scored highly with regard to costs and schedule, as well as for site acquistion complexity and town permitting. However, vice chair Mike Shepard noted one very important fact about the Elmwood property. When discussing all of the potential sites with the fire chief, Chief Ken Clark was very concerned about the Elmwood property and the proximity of the potential school to gas lines. Mr. Shepard and Chief Clark emphatically noted that these gas lines pose no threat to the Elmwood school, but said that increasing the population of the area and building the new school so close to the lines could pose a public safety risk. For this reason, the Elmwood sites were given low marks for the "public safety recommendation" category.

The full matrix is available as part of this article, and is also available on . The Elementary School Building Committee urges the public to view this matrix and come ready with comments and questions at their public forum on Saturday, January 24th, at 9:00 a.m.