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The School Committee review some of the projects planned for the school.

With Heating Set, Clarksburg School Turns to Security Upgrade

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Clarksburg School expects to have plans in hand for a new security entrance in two weeks. 
Principal Tara Barnes reported that Westall Architects is nearly completed with designs that will allow the project to be put to out to bid.
"They've been working on plans for a while, and they should have something else back Oct. 14," she told the School Committee and members of the renovation group on Thursday. "They've been working with some engineers and drawing the design in touch with folks who do the glass."
The school received a $35,000 state grant to address security concerns. Barnes said she had not detailed the need for a public address system but felt that also falls under security. 
"I think a PA system still is a high priority. We've gotten new phones — we talked about this last time — we have new phones in the classroom which is great, but still no one in the hallway can hear anything. You can't hear anything in the gym. We tried to do a lockdown drill, nobody can hear you. We need speakers."
Superintendent of Schools John Franzoni agreed and said the state police stress the need to communicate in their safety trainings. "That's got to be a priority as well, for safety reasons," he said.
Barnes said Westall was also willing to draw up plans to convert the staff bathroom into a an accessible bathroom. 
"But their priority is to draw the entrance first. So that plan, yeah, not going to be done until the entrance is done," she said. "But they know about it and they've taken measurements for it and that's the next thing on there."
Officials and volunteers have been trying to piecework repairs to the 60-year-old elementary school after borrowing to completely renovate the school failed a couple years ago. The progress has been slow as officials have cobbled together grants and volunteers to address immediate issues. 
One of those was the failing boilers that have been replaced with new ones brought on line last week. The project was largely funded through a portion of the town's Green Communities grant with the balance from the school's capital reserves. 
Barile Environmental did the asbestos removal during the summer and Climate Heating & Cooling installed the boilers. 
"They did a great job coming in, especially when there's some cold weather coming. So it was just so kind of fingers crossed that it go well, and they really came through," Franzoni said. 
There was, however, an unexpected electrical issue because the electric panel couldn't handle the new load and had to be replaced. 
"I think when you put something new in this building, a lot of other stuff is all old os you have to update the other things to make them compatible with each other," he said.
School Committee Chairman Laura Wood asked if Climate had looked into the moisture issues in the primary wing. Franzoni said they were coming back to look at the heaters in the building. 
Barnes said it also may be an issue with the air exchangers. "Those air exchangers should be on all the time, even though they're noisy, bringing in fresh air," she said.
Thomas Bona, a member of the volunteer repair group, asked if the school had a priority list. 
"I'd like to re evaluate what priorities are for the school," he said. That's why I think you prioritize what you want next. And I'm thinking the entry, the elevator lift or the bathroom."
Barnes added in the PA system. 
Franzoni said the town has been talking about developing a capital or master plan, which had also been recommended by the consultants on the Stamford, Vt., School merger. Town meeting approved a $1 million borrowing for capital projects that will be split between town and school needs. The town already has a list of road and public works projects. 
Those issues are expected to hammered out once the new town administrator comes on board. Select Board member Danielle Luchi said a contract has been negotiated with Rebecca Stone and she will start on Nov. 12.
Robert Norcross, another member of the repair group, asked about writing again to the governor to release a $500,000 earmark to fix the school's roof. The money has been held over concerns of the condition of the school but it was felt the town meeting's approval of the borrowing showed it was committed to Clarksburg School. 
In other business, Franzoni said there have already been inquiries to the request for proposals for a coordinator to ascertain the legal and educational parameters for the proposed school merger with Stamford. The deadline for applicants is Oct. 18. 

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Clarksburg Takes Over Senior Center

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The Council on Aging is expected to nominate more members on Monday morning that can ensure the board can continue.
The fate of the Senior Center has been clouded in recent months as the Council on Aging's members dwindled below the minimum number and they considered dissolving. An influx of interest delayed the center's closure as the town and volunteers sought to find a path forward. 
But it's been difficult for long-term members to begin a transfer of the reins and the Select Board last week voted to take over operations of the Senior Center.
"They've done a lot for the Council on Aging, and the building and everything else, they put their hearts into it," said Select Board member Danielle Luchi last week. "So I want to start off there. But like I was said, they're not wanting to allow the younger seniors, the cross section of seniors, and so that there's a future of the Council on Aging."
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