Nashoba Tech offers student talents for town construction project

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TOWNSEND — Judith Klimkiewicz, Superintendent of the Nashoba Valley Regional Technical School, outlined her budget for the fiscal 2007 season to the Board of Selectmen this week, then closed with an offer of free student labor on a construction project of the town’s choosing.

Klimkiewicz said the town will receive a $19,033 reimbursement, which will actually be taken off the last quarter’s payment the town makes to the school for their minimum contribution.

”We received our letter from the state and we are ready for our audit,” Klimkiewicz said. “Once the state completes the audit, the payment will be adjusted.”

Nashoba Valley Regional accepts students from Townsend, Chelmsford, Groton, Littleton, Pepperell, Shirley and Westford. Each town pays a minimum contribution based upon the number of their students enrolled. Townsend’s enrollment dropped from 80 students to 69 for the upcoming school year, which reduces the town’s assessment. The 2007 assessment for Townsend will be $748,828 or a decrease from this school year’s assessment of $855,153.

The Nashoba budget must pass muster at the town meeting in May.

Selectman Peter Collins told Klimkiewicz he believed there would be no problem having their budget approved by the town.

Klimkiewicz then told the board she would like to volunteer her students for a town project, as a way to pay back the community for their support of the school.

”I spoke to Superintendent James McCormick and told him we need a good project for the town,” she said.

Town administrator Gregory Barnes said a sizable project for the students would be to construct a salt-and-sand shed for the Highway Department. The current facilities are inadequate, he said, and the department would like to replace what is currently there.

When students from the technical school carry out a project, the town is only liable for materials and not labor costs. Barnes said the cost for constructing the shed is estimated at $350,000.

Klimkiewicz said her students have built a cemetery building in Westford and a water pump station in Pepperell.

”It is a win-win situation for everyone,” she said, “and the students take great pride in what they do. It’s great when they can go through a town and point out something they built.

”For us, it is truly a way to give back to our communities. It helps us out and helps the towns out.”

Barnes said he would look into other local salt-and-sand sheds and discuss the matter further with Klimkiewicz.