This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Council Plays Waiting Game

The City Council met last night, but as announced earlier in the day, there was no vote on the High School project.

The only bits of news coming out of the meeting were that the four contractors who had submitted bids, have all agreed to extend the deadline for signing of a contact by 30 days. The city had been under a deadline to sign a contract by yesterday or be forced to put the project out to bid again.

Mayor Scanlon also told the Council that he had been assured that the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) will raise the ceiling on the project to $81.5 million, rather than the previously announced $75 million.
Scanlon said the agency's executive director, Katherine Craven, has told him that cap was a mistake, according to today's story in the Salem News.

There was also no resolution on the state of the protests filed over some of the bidder's qualifications. The Attorney General's office is looking this matter.

Once both of these questions are answered, the Council will take a final vote on the project.

10/29 UPDATE: The Beverly Citizen has a few more details today:

The city now has until December 3rd to sign a contract with one of the bidders. Once a contract is signed, the contractor has a month to begin work, according to Mayor Scanlon.

The Citizen also reports that the MSBA’s bylaws allow votes to happen outside its regular meetings. The authority's director says there’s only one more board member she’s trying to reach to get approval to officially raise the cap on the project.