SC to seek guidance from town counsel on roof repairs

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SHIRLEY — The School Committee decided Tuesday that it would like a document from town counsel regarding the legality of splitting the job of replacing the Center School roof into two phases.

Building Inspector Raymond Farrar Jr. has obtained three quotes for each of the two phases of the project.

Phase one would remove the existing roof containing asbestos. Phase two would replace and shingle the roof, member Robert Schuler said.

The quotes obtained come in under $20,000 for each phase, according to Schuler. This exempts the projects from being required under Massachusetts General Laws to be sent to bid.

The question of whether Schuler obtained information from town counsel about legal issues surrounding the job split was raised by member Gary Bourrassa.

At a prior meeting Schuler said he had discussed the issue with town administrator Kyle Keady. This week he said he had spoken to town counsel about splitting the job. Both supported the method, according to Schuler.

Bourassa emphasized his concern when he said, “Splitting a job up to get under a cap doesn’t look right.” He would prefer to see something in writing from town counsel, he said.

”I feel very comfortable with the process, so I don’t think (a document) will be necessary,” said Schuler.

Bourassa made a motion that the School Committee contact town counsel to obtain written documentation that splitting the two jobs is within their legal rights, and member Donald Parker seconded.

The committee voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

In other business, Melissa Dentino and Kathy Bailey presented plans and quotes for installing playground equipment at Lura A. White School.

If funded, either by the capital plan or by donations, the playground would provide age-appropriate equipment for preschool- and kindergarten-aged children.

In light of the pending agreement with MassDevelopment to educate Devens children, the playground installation may not be as immediately necessary as was once thought since some classrooms used at Devens for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes would be moved to the school in the fall.

As determined by discussions held at the meeting with MassDevelopment Vice President of Community Development Victor Normand, it is possible the need to relocate may no longer exist.

During public participation, Parker and Chairman Robert Prescott, whose terms expire this year, were asked if they intended to run for their respective seats again.

Both members said they intend to appear on the ballot.

”I wouldn’t miss all this fun,” Prescott said.