ANeSU board commissions facilities study for Mount Abe
BRISTOL — The Addison Northeast Supervisory Union has commissioned a facility and educational needs study for Mount Abraham Union High School.
“There are no current issues with the structure,” said Arden Harwood, the facilities director at Mount Abe. “But for the first time, probably ever, we’re trying to be more proactive with the repair cycle.”
Harwood said that repair work on building components has been done around every 20 years, by which point the repair work often becomes a matter of urgency. But the lack of urgency behind the facility study is exactly the point; Harwood said the school board felt that it would be prudent to start getting ahead of the curve when it came to repair work in order to avoid last-minute, hurried requests to fund repairs.
“What’s happened in Vergennes recently is a good example,” Harwood said, referring to the proposed multi-million-dollar bonds for renovations to the Vergennes Union High School that voters rejected twice in the past six months.
Mount Abraham Union High School was built in 1969, and while repairs have been done to it since, the building itself is original, Harwood said, and parts of it will soon be approaching the end of a normal life span.
Superintendent David Adams introduced a request for the study at the school board’s Dec. 4 meeting.
“The need for a study of this type is obvious,” Adams said in a statement. “It has been 10 years since any major physical renovation or upgrade has been done at Mount Abraham. During that time, the building has, in addition to normal physical deterioration, incurred other building issues. In addition, education requirements for high schools have changed considerably during that same period.”
Harwood, however, reiterated that no specific actions were on the table at the moment.
“I’ve had calls asking about building a new addition,” he laughed. “There’s no addition! But the rumor mill can get going, I guess.”
The study will cost $35,000, and be paid for with existing money from the Mount Abe sinking fund. A contract was negotiated with Dore & Whittier and executed on April 9. The South Burlington company was one of 11 that applied for the job.
The facilities assessment will progress in two phases.
First, Dore & Whittier will perform an assessment of the existing high school physical plant and facility, and prepare a report outlining building conditions and mechanical/physical systems with recommendations and estimated costs.
The second phase will ask the school’s stakeholders — teachers, administrators, staff and the public — for feedback on the education needs of Mount Abe teachers and students within the physical space.
The study will be completed by June 1, and presented to the Mount Abraham Union High School Board during its June meeting.
“That may be as far as we go at this time,” Harwood explained. “We have not necessarily decided there’s going to be a renovation … A bond would take several years, and lots of public input. The first thing for us is to get this analysis of the physical structure.”
The Fresh Air Fund, initiated in 1877 to give kids from New York City the opportunity to e … (read more)
BRISTOL — A memorial service for Mark A. Nelson of Bristol will be held 1 p.m. on Saturday … (read more)
See when your favorite high school team is competing in the fall sports playoffs.