Former Councilor Promotes Biggest School OptionBy Tammy Daniels
03:59PM / Tuesday, February 21, 2012
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The school building committee is expected to vote next week on which of the raft of school options the city should select.
Many believe that a new Greylock Elementary School is the obvious choice: The site is flat and needs minimal work, the children would not have to be relocated and it's the cheapest option.
The proposal would cost an estimated $27.7 million, with the city being responsible for $5.6 million. But it would only solve half the city's problem, which is to find an educational solution for 620 children in Grades K-7.
Robert M. Moulton Jr., former city councilor, said he thinks the city shouldn't just settle for one school for 310 students but go for the bigger and more expensive 620-student school at the same location.
The key, he said, was the Cariddi mill on State Road. If the city bought and tore down the mill, it would provide more than enough room for a larger school, better access from State Road and greater distance from the surrounding residential homes.
"It's a beautiful site, it would take of the traffic," he said, but added he had not asked if the mill was for sale yet.
Moulton said he's going to present the plan during his weekly talk show with Ronald Boucher, "Let's Talk About It," on NBCTV tonight at 8. The show is broadcast live on Channel 17 and allows call-ins.
The cost of the larger school is estimated at $47.2 million, with the city's costs at $10.7, some of which is for the relocation of students. Moulton said money that would go to moving the children — $1 million to $2 million — could be used instead to buy and tear down the mostly vacant mill.
That plan would still require a Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion vote, but Moulton believes that city residents would support getting the school issue over and done for the next 30 years.
"I think people will go for it," he said.