2014 Salem Town Warrant Articles
Facility Renovation Project: Phase 2
Phase 2 of the Facility Renovation Project is being proposed as Warrant Article 2 on the ballot this March. This is the second phase of the Facilities Master Plan to renovate all of Salem’s schools. Phase 1 addressed three elementary schools: Barron, Lancaster, and North Salem. Phase 2 will renovate the remaining elementary schools: Soule, Fisk, and Haigh. The additions and renovations will make all elementary schools equitable and will address the need for increased safety and security, increased classroom, small group space and storage space, separate gymnasiums and multi-purpose areas, and a better quality educational environment for ALL children.
Assuming that Warrant Article 2 passes, the projected timeline for Phase 2 completion is September 2013.
Strengthen Our Schools believes that the Facility Renovation Project is vital to correcting the current state of Salem public schools' facilities:
- Schools do not meet current code safety standards: Classrooms do not have sprinkler systems or fire alarms, and many still contain asbestos.
- Infrastructure is in real need of repair and upgrading, resulting in air quality issues.
- Administrative offices lack visibility/supervision of entrances, and there are no security systems.
- There is unsafe vehicular / pedestrian traffic flow for dropping off and picking up students at some schools.
- Hallways and multi-purpose rooms are doubling as storage space, creating crowded and hazardous conditions.
- Existing schools do not meet Department of Education or National Education Planning requirements.
- There is poor configuration of spaces and lack of program and core spaces, such as for classrooms (kindergarten, general, art/music), small group instruction, reading spaces, multipurpose spaces, and nursing/guidance.
- Many classes are being held in closets, hallways, and libraries.
- Multi-purpose rooms cannot fully accommodate activities/functions that must compete for the space.