Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Norton residents need to be educated on high school building project before voting.
We have always been told to make sure we did our homework, and this continues throughout life. We continually need to do our homework and learn as much as possible about the community we are living, particularly when it concerns buying or selling our real estate investment. The community infrastructure, public services and the quality of town and school system are just as important as the property being sold or purchased. The Town of Norton continually struggles with many of the same issues as other communities. One major area we have grappled with for a few years is adequate funding for our schools. In June we are being asked to vote and approve funding to renovate outdated structural deficiencies of Norton High School. The renovations …
Monday, March 14, 2011
Facts and numbers are important, but politics is what will decide the issue.
School supporters have a very difficult task on their hands as the issue of renovating and constructing an addition to Norton High School nears a couple of votes this June. Their job can basically be divided into two parts – the informational process, and the political process. School supporters and officials certainly need to get the facts and numbers out there. The cost, the impact on property taxpayers, the impact on students, the improvements to the educational system, the availability of state aid – all those are critical aspects of getting the proposal they favor approved. But just as critical is the political aspect of this project. The truth is, they can have the best plan in the world, have it make the most sense, and have every …
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Pictures from around town this past week.
This week's Viewfinder features photos from the science fair at L. G. Nourse Elementary School, high school renovation/addition information night at Norton Middle School, the Nine Lives rabies clinic held at Norton Fire Department and more. More rabies clinic photos and an accompanying story will be available later today, so stay tuned. Have any photos you would like to see included in next week's Viewfinder? Send them via email to Kelly.Mello@patch.com.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Members say cost will not get cheaper, reimbursement will not get higher.
After recent meetings for the high school renovation and addition project, there has been some feedback from the public, but no one has said to go back to the drawing board. People, the look on their faces was amazing when you told them there were no fire sprinklers in the high school. Their jaw just dropped and they said ‘you’re kidding me.’ They weren’t required when it was built. We haven’t been required to retrofit them so this is the time to do it,” School and Building Committee Tom Golota said. He also noted that the plans will make for a safer entrance into the high school. The way it is set up now, people in the main office cannot see who is at the door when they buzz them in. And even after people are buzzed in, they can move …
Monday, March 7, 2011
Letter from Kathy Portway of Success! Real Estate.
Monday, March 7, 2011
When potential home buyers are looking to purchase a home, they consider all of the factors a town offers. Towns that provide excellent educational opportunities for their students will always be at the top of a buyers’ list. Savvy home buyers think about resale values! As a resident of Norton I take great pride in providing information about its schools -- they are truly wonderful! However, our high school is outdated and needs major improvements. Failure to make those improvements will impact our homes' perceived values. The renovation project to our high school will provide greater educational opportunities for its students, as well as increase the value of real estate in our town -- we ALL benefit! Kathy Portway SUCCESS! Real …
Friday, March 4, 2011
Town Moderator looks to help folks understand Town Meeting.
In June Norton will hold what could be the largest Town Meeting in its 300 year history. The main attraction will be the plan to renovate the high school. Many attending will be experiencing their first exposure to the wacky, wonderful world of true democracy – the Open Town Meeting. The meeting in June may be a Special Town Meeting called only for the school articles, or it could be the delayed Annual Town Meeting. As Town Moderator charged with running this fairly major event, it is my job to help everyone understand how Town Meeting works and what their responsibilities are as participants. To that end, I will offer a series of columns here designed to answer some of the most common questions about our particular form of democracy. Who …
Parents generally excited, other voters concerned with cost.
Thursday, March 3, Norton voters attended an information session by the Norton High School Building Committee. Residents were given the opportunity to comment on the proposed school project to Pinck & Co. project manager Margaret Minor Wood, Greg Smolley of JCJ Architecture, members of the School and Building Committees, principal Raymond Dewar and superintendent Dr. Patricia Ansay. Wood explained to attendees that the main concerns are the heating system, roof and windows. “Without the reimbursement, the town would have to ultimately bear the burden,” she said. “We think the reimbursement rate will be between 58 and 60 percent.” "Most people were shocked to learn that there are no fire sprinklers in that building," said Tom Golota, who is…
Monday, February 28, 2011
Subcommittee met with Norton town representatives.
Monday, February 28, 2011
On Wednesday, the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s (MSBA) Facility Assessment Subcommittee -- including State Treasurer Steven Grossman and executive director Katherine Craven -- met with representatives from the Town of Norton and their consultants to review progress made on the plans for the proposed addition and renovation project at Norton High School. The subcommittee is composed of members of the MSBA’s Board of Directors and meets regularly to hear district presentations regarding proposed projects and provide feedback to districts before a project is presented to the full board for its consideration. A review by the Facility Assessment Subcommittee is a critical milestone on the path to full approval by the MSBA Board of …
But in the end, taxpayers must still shoulder the burden
When Norton voters hear there is a proposed Debt Exclusion Override of Proposition 2-1/2 for the purpose of constructing and renovating one of our schools, many of them may have the reaction “Here we go again." But the truth is this proposed project and the reasons for it differ considerably from the previous attempts to override Prop 2-1/2. While that may not ultimately matter to some, it should matter to the voters and citizens determined to make an informed decision. This proposal is different because it has little to do with planning for the future – odd as that may sound. Earlier school plans sought to prepare for an expected growth in student population. This plan to renovate and add on to the existing 40-year-old high school is in …
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Town Meeting is scheduled for June 6, probably to be continued to June 8, and the ballot election will be June 11.
Selectmen have decided to hold the ballot vote they hope will authorize the debt exclusion that will fund the high school renovation project after Town Meeting, for the first time on a Saturday. Town Meeting is scheduled for June 6, probably to be continued to June 8, and the ballot election will be June 11. The decision came after a presentation by the school building committee and the architect for the feasibility study stage of the project, JCJ Architecture. The presentation was much the same as that of the previous night, where it was held before a wider audience. Selectmen agreed with building committee chairman Kevin O'Neil that the third option of the four presented had the best chance of fulfilling all state requirements, adding to…