REMINDER tonight 6pm City Hall meeting about school plans for East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Gloucester, MA

TONIGHT June 17, 2019 Ward 1 City Councilor Scott Memhard will host another Ward 1 Community Meeting and update on the East Gloucester Elementary School building project from 6 to 8 p.m., at Gloucester City Hall’s Kyrouz Auditorium.

The agenda will include a presentation and Q&A with members of the Gloucester School Committee, the EGS School Building Committee, and our EGS designer/project manager Dore & Whittier Architects. Time allowing, any other community concerns or matters of Ward 1 interest may also be raised & discussed.

Catch up on plans (with building committee’s link added today to last week’s June 13 presentation- note Green Street changes)

Dore & Whittier presented options for new elementary schools (specifically related to consolidation of East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Schools or just East Gloucester) to the EGS Building Committee Thursday, June 13th at 5 pm.  This meeting was not a public forum. However, all present reiterated that questions and concerns are most welcome at the Ward 1 Community Meeting June 17, 2019 at City Hall (details below).

Potential options for three sites were color coded for review

  • YELLOW for East Gloucester School Site
  • BLUE for Veterans Memorial School Site
  • GREEN for Schoolhouse Road Site formerly labeled “Green Street” site

Continue reading “REMINDER tonight 6pm City Hall meeting about school plans for East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Gloucester, MA”

New school plans Dore & Whittier site options for East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Gloucester, MA

Dore & Whittier presented options for new elementary schools (specifically related to consolidation of East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Schools or just East Gloucester) to the EGS Building Committee Thursday, June 13th at 5 pm.  This meeting was not a public forum. However, all present reiterated that questions and concerns are most welcome at the Ward 1 Community Meeting June 17, 2019 at City Hall (details below).

Potential options for three sites were color coded for review

  • YELLOW for East Gloucester School Site
  • BLUE for Veterans Memorial School Site
  • GREEN for Schoolhouse Road Site formerly labeled “Green Street” site

School Committee Chairman John Pope and Brad Dore of Dore & Whittier stressed that none of these plans are final. “It’s a long process. MSBA requires options. So these 14 options will be whittled down to 8 options that must go foward. Hopefully by next April, after due diligence and consideration, we’ll move forward to the next phase.” Costs are not factored for any of these options at this point in this process so as to base school design on best fit learning requirement rather than price (see “Matrix” slide). Sub committee will vote on the criteria (see “schedule” slide). Dore & Whittier consulting related to this phase is about $70,000. “These options are diagrammatic. None prove that they can be successful or can move ahead, only that they go to the next level of review. They are just a level of screening. The process is iterative.”

For all three sites, plans focused on parking for staff and visitors without addressing neighborhood traffic impact. All proposals tried to take into account access to community spaces (ie. gym and media center) after hours, parent pick up/drop off, and separation of outdoor space and service access. MSBA guidelines suggest 80 parking spaces per 220 students and 117 per 440 students. “Typically these projects find relief granted for parking and zoning,” said Dore. While new schools are built, students will need to be relocated. Chairman Pope said they’d need to press city on options.

A round up of Pros and Cons related to the recent West Parish construction and its use and operating costs since being built might be helpful. Some West Parish feedback that made the news ranged from small inconveniences (no dishwasher) to larger concerns about design (despite ample site the gymnasium was not designed with enough space for spectators, the design of the parking lot did not take into account ease in snowplowing and numerous vehicular/traffic snafus).  There was no discussion about these proposals within a broader context of all the school properties, all the elementary schools, merging with Rockport, what happens with development of the older sites if Schoolhouse Road option is undertaken, etc.

2 POTENTIAL SITES COLOR CODE _Dore Whittier new school sites and plans presented to School Committee building committee_Gloucester MA_20190613_© cryan

TIMELINE

targeting July 18th for cost reveals

28 TIMELINE Dore and Whittier new school sites and plans presented to School Committee building committee_Gloucester MA_20190613_© cryan (28)

 

 

 

 

 

1)East Gloucester Elementary School Site- 5 options both single school and consolidation

Dore & Whittier ascertained that the school’s field is deeded and there’s no option of building out into that green space. It’s already off to a poor start as “the site is reduced by 2.5 acres.” [See 2016 EGS school consolidiation meeting– we already knew this. Ditto consideration of Espresso’s lot, now sold but was available.] Based on their commentary narration, Dore & Whittier does not seem in favor of this option:

  • “A two story option would have structural problems to consider and cons such as creating darker classrooms on the ground floor.”
  • “It would exceed setback lines.” “Extra permitting”
  • “Storm Water management is difficult.”
  • “Topography is difficult. All rock!”
  • There are just so many noted deficiencies. “Generally compressing into a small site means a LOT more money.”
  • Option B3 Problem as no separation of Delivery and Playtime; stressed again how difficult it is to build two stories. “Will this even get through the fire department even with so many difficult permitting issues? The plans push against lot line and trucks may not get back there.” [ed. so why is this presented as an option?]
  • Option C1 430 students is a 3 story option “will recreate parking on street basically the same as now but worse.”
  • Option D NEW School pushes building back, room for 56 parking spots
    • D1 2 story
    • E1 440 students 3 story options
    • E2 crossing property line either by right or by purchase. Brad Dore explained that decisions of that sort happen at the state level. (I think he meant long/difficult route.)
  • One question from the audience went unanswered and encouraged to attend Ward 1 meeting: “Has neighborhood high impact and infrastructure concerns been considered (water/sewer presumably affected with increase to 440 students)?”

 

 

 

2)Veterans Memorial site- 2 options

Plans here were also categorized as failing. “No doubt there are lots of challenges for this one.” Brad Dore said. “Plans here are tortured.”

  • F1 440 students with 80 parking spaces preserving ball field
  • F2 on the ball field

 

 

 

3)Schoolhouse Road / formerly Green Street Site – 2 options

  • 3 story, 440 students

 

 

 

On Monday, June 17, 2019 Ward 1 City Councilor Scott Memhard will host another Ward 1 Community Meeting and update on the East Gloucester Elementary School building project from 6 to 8 p.m., at Gloucester City Hall’s Kyrouz Auditorium.

The agenda will include a presentation and Q&A with members of the Gloucester School Committee, the EGS School Building Committee, and our EGS designer/project manager Dore & Whittier Architects. Time allowing, any other community concerns or matters of Ward 1 interest may also be raised & discussed.

1 Dore and Whittier new school sites and plans presented to School Committee building committee_Gloucester MA_20190613_© cryan
photo: Residents observe architect proposals for new school plans Gloucester MA June 13 2019 (questions and concerns can be brought to public forum this was just a presentation by Dore & Whittier of current iterations for proposed new school building plans to the School Building Committee)

sampling of documents to bring one up to speed:

January 2015 joint City Council/School Committee meeting; presentation by Dore & Whittier HERE

Option A Maintain all four buildings as they are with same number of classes
per grade
Option B Make additions and renovations at all four schools
Option C Remove Plum Cove or Veterans and make additions and renovations
at other three (2-3 classes per grade)
Option D Remove Plum Cove and Veterans and make addition at Beeman (4
classes per grade), with 3 classes per grade at East Gloucester

September 14, 2016 GMG post school consolidation meeting  at West Parish HERE

September 27, 2016, GMG post, Ward 1 Community Discussion about new elementary schools at East Gloucester Elementary School HERE

In February 2017, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), a state agency, moved the Gloucester school consolidation proposal further along in its funding process. The MSBA cost page is here where you will find information and data about schools built either a)2008-2013  or b) 2014-current.  West Parish is in there. (List of MSBA projects completed for Gloucester) MSBA splits out designer and project management phases from the final build which means you have to go back and forth between documents. Expected life span for new buildings is 40 years.

October 2017 City Begins Quest for new Merged School: Search on for funding for East Gloucester-Veterans study, Gloucester Daily Times article by Ray Lamont HERE

October 2018 GMG post MSBA school committee school consolidation update HERE 

Spring 2019, School building committee website set up spring 2019 https://eastgloucesterbuildingproject.weebly.com.

 

LIVE at City Hall: GEF Gloucester Arts Festival

Listen to sweet voices from Veterans school chorus, “Imagine”.

 

Gloucester High School chorus

 

More theater, bands and chorus coming up!

Kurt Lichtenwald and GHS robotics presented at 1pm. GHS has 11  engineering courses — teaching to the top! Showing us Propane furnaces, LADAR, magnetic Newton’s cradle (no sound), a hovercraft that can carry 60 pounds… Design. Build. Modify. (More than one kid behind me said “I can’t wait to go to high school.”) Displayed art by O’Maley Middle school artists throughout City Hall, Cape Ann Museum and Sawyer Free.

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Woodwork display is amazing!

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Puppies and Poetry at Sawyer Free and Poetry without Paper deadline

National Poetry Month at Sawyer Free included this past Saturday’s super cute puppies and poetry program with  Cape Ann Animal Aid 

Poetry without Paper contest is open and National Poem in Pocket Day is April 27.

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Save the date and thanks Sawyer Free and Cape Ann Cinema & Stage for bringing Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age to Gloucester

October 20th, 7:30PM at Cape Ann Cinema & Stage

This nighttime screening is a great chance to review and determine if it’s a good fit for an enrichment daytime screening at O’Maley. Andrew Sullivan’s New York Magazine article, Technology Almost Killed Me, includes “the first one to use the phone pays for lunch” strategy that I first saw in the trailer for this Screenagers documentary. I enjoyed the illustrations for the article–cell phone riffs into famous paintings–and am thankful I read it if only because it reminded me that I still haven’t seen Screenagers. Now I can!

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Prior GMG Post Mobile Phones! Gaming! Social Media! Oh, My Screenagers

CNN 2015 report sussing 150,000 social media messages Being 13 on Social Media

Gloucester’s mystery Civil War Era Coat tomorrow CITY HALL 1-4pm

Cat Ryan says have a closer look thanks to Cape Ann Giclee

Hi Joey

Mold and forgotten history has damaged a distinctive 19th century jacket, our very own historic ‘coat of many colors’ worth more than the fabric itself!

80 years ago Roger Babson presented this Civil War era coat to the community during a town wide celebration for the 50th Anniversary of the Gloucester High School Cadets, an ROTC forerunner founded by Albert W. Bacheler (b. 1843 Indiana – d.1929 Melrose, MA). Bacheler was an esteemed principal of Gloucester High School for a staggering 30 years (1814-1913), a Civil War Veteran (New Hampshire regiment Army of the Potomac), and a Dartmouth alum.

Chairs for 1500 people were set up in advance of that event! Artist Charles Allan Winter designed the program!

You see, it wasn’t just any coat.

Back then everyone in Gloucester knew Babson and Bacheler and understood the many reasons that this very special coat was a gift for our City. Babson was a key speaker at the event and his topic was solely Bacheler and this coat. School teachers and colleagues said that Bacheler liked to show his students the coat as inspiration, a reminder that one never need to be discouraged. Principal Bacheler told students how this coat was given to him by a Virginia slave who harbored him after his escape from Richmond’s infamous Libby Prison during the Civil War. While this incredible story warrants our attention, verification and further exploration—what a great project for our students!

In 2015, the coat that remains to tell the story is in immediate need of our care.

A concerned parent noticed that the coat near ROTC and Veterans awards and memorials at Gloucester High School had developed mold and brought it to the attention of various folks in town. The coat is everyone’s artifact. The school budget, PTOs, City Archives, city committees, the Cape Ann Museum—none have a budget to pay for this coat repair. The coat has been examined by a professional textile conservator through the Committee for the Arts. This garment needs to be fumigated, cleaned and repaired. It also requires an armature to support it and new display. The estimate for treatment and preparing it for installation is $3800.

Come “see” the coat during Jason Grow’s WWII Veterans’ Portrait Exhibition at City Hall on Saturday, November 7, 2015, from 1-4pm. The coat is too fragile to travel at present and will be represented by a full size photograph thanks to the generosity of Cape Ann Giclee! thank you James!

Donations will be accepted at the event or checks can be mailed and made payable to The Gloucester Fund, 45 Middle Street, Gloucester, MA. PLEASE write “Civil War coat” in memo field on the check. We are setting up a youcaring site and will apply to Awesome Gloucester.

Oh The Irony- Sawyer Free Parking Sign

If reading is fundamental then what is spelling?

LibGlou-1

Bill Clark submits-

Sign at Library parking lot that has been up for a while……

Editor Note from possible the worst person ever to criticize anyone else’s spelling- me.

It happens.  No one died in the process.  A little embarrassing maybe, but yeah, no one died.

 

Paula Morgan Paintings At Sawyer Free

Nichole Schrafft writes-

Hi Joey,

Nice bumping into you at the rink last Sunday.  Any chance you could post this?  Paula Morgan is one of my very best friends and I’m incredibly proud of her….plus a big fan of her work. Paula also happens to be the Elementary art teacher at West Parrish School in Gloucester.  She has her own blog and wrote the following post on it the other day.  I thought it would be nice to share it with the community…especially since she teaches a number of their children!   Thanks!


Paula Morgan Paintings

“On January 4th I will be placing some recent work on display at the Sawyer Free Library gallery in the lobby.  I haven’t displayed my work in a public place in sixteen years!  Sixteen years ago, I was 22 years old.  So, what has changed in 16 years?  I’ve had a couple of career changes, I’ve carved different paths, I moved 6 times, I experienced some significant relationship shifts, I got my Master’s degree in teaching, I got married, I had two children, and in some ways, I like to think I have accomplished a lot, and maybe even grown up a little.Sometimes taking long breaks from painting, but always feeling the itch, never fully abandoning it- I’ve continued to work in spurts, and bursts trying to keep the brushes wet and the artist spirt active.”  

January 4th, 2013 Subjects in Color at The Sawyer Free Library