The Marshfield Board of Selectmen and Advisory Board held a public hearing Thursday night to discuss the only article for the next special town meetin–a proposed new high school.
In Superintendent of Schools Scott Borstel’s presentation he explained that the current Marshfield High School is in a weak condition and that a renovation would increase costs for tax payers in comparison to a Mass School Building Authority model school.
Marshfield resident John Feeney questioned why the town should now contribute 53.6 million dollars for a new school, “Why did this building get to a deteriorated state?”
However, Superintendent Borstel did not have an explanation, “I don’t know. If you look at our other six buildings, the high school is our newest building in town; it’s the building that’s in the worst shape of our seven schools.”
Borstel stated that repairs have been done throughout the years when funding was available such as roofing, tiling, and electrical work.
The MSBA will reimburse 55.6% of the project budget. The design of the new school includes multiple areas that anyone in the Marshfield community can use while school is in session including a television studio.
However, residents expressed concerns that allowing community members to willingly enter the school could cause safety problems. Bob Keuther, Principal of Marshfield High School, reassured residents that student safety will not be a problem with this school design, “The layout of the studio itself as a separate entrance for the community; there’s actually a locking door between where the student body is and where the community people are that can only be accessed through the school side so there’s no need for the community to come in unless we decide we want to publicly bring those two together.”
Other community areas with separate entrances include the library and a restaurant.
For the school project to pass at the November 17th Marshfield special town meeting, a two-thirds vote is required. If it does, the question will go to a ballot vote.