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LWV Forum Covers School Projects Before Debt Exclusion Vote

At Cary Memorial Library last Friday, a panel of four explained why the town is planning to rebuild Estabrook Elementary and renovate the Bridge and Bowman schools at a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters, which has endorsed both projects.

Saying she had two things on her mind: money and children, Selectwoman Deb Mauger explained why she, and the Board of Selectmen, voted to put debt exclusion requests to rebuild and renovate the and elementary schools before the voters in a Jan. 24 special election. 

Maguer said that, while she’s a retiree thinking about things like taxes and credit card bills accrued over the holidays, she’s also a Lexington resident thinking about local children and their education.

Mauger must have known her audience. She was speaking at the Lexington League of Women Voters’ First Friday Forum last week at .

The League, which has endorsed both debt exclusion requests, promoted the informational forum at the r and drew large crowd of local seniors. A second LWV information session is scheduled for 7 p.m. tomorrow night at Clarke Middle School.

Last Friday, Mauger was one of four speakers, the others being Mark Barrett, project manager from the Department of Public Facilities, Bill Hurley, a member of the Capital Expenditures Committee and Deb Rourke, a parent and Yes for Our Schools campaign member.

The speakers explained the proposals to and , and why these projects are needed.

for a three-story school that achieves the educational program with 27 classrooms and is designed to LEED Silver standards and the Stretch Energy Codes. The project is in the MSBA pipeline for reimbursement funding and is on an aggressive schedule to get students out of the current building, where .

The town is not working with the Massachusetts School Building Authority on Bridge and Bowman. The renovation projects planned are meant to extend the useful life of the buildings and improve utilization for educational programs.

“Both of these schools will be able to design their spaces for what today’s education requires,” said Hurley, a former educator. “We will make it more user-friendly; it will be safer, up to code and make more sense in terms of who we provide education to children.”

For Bridge and Bowman, which has , construction bids are due Valentine’s Day for a phased construction project that should begin April vacation and is scheduled to be complete by Fall 2013, according to Barrett.

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