I want to congratulate Mayor Blake and the city Department Heads for their fine work on the 2012-2013 budget.
A lot of work went in to it, resulting in an unprecedented spending increase of well under 2%. I’d also like to recognize the Board of Education which rolled up its sleeves and got into the details and turned out the leanest education budget this city has seen in a generation.
At a time when we are all struggling to make ends meet, it’s comforting to know that our local leaders understand and act with the financial prudence appropriate to our circumstances.
Also appropriate to our current circumstances, and worthy of note, is the project. I was at the January Board of Aldermen meeting and heard parents, teachers and students speak on the challenges of working in crowded conditions and a lack of classroom space. A plan had been on the drawing board for almost eight years but nothing came of it.
Responding to these needs, while also keeping an eye on responsible cost management, Mayor Blake took the project plans off the table and back to the architect, administrators and educators and asked them to put their minds together and decide which parts of the projects were essential to addressing the immediate and pressing needs of East Shore, believing we can do this for less.
captures the result of that process, a process which was responsive, rigorous and responsible.
The resulting scope addresses every concern I heard voiced here last month, the addition of new classrooms, expanded media center, cafeteria and kitchen. Ultimately adding at least 18,000 SQ to East Shore – putting it firmly on par with the other two middle schools with at least 78,300 SQ compared to 73,190 at West Shore and 78,321 at Harborside. I think this is the single largest school renovation project in our history.
Yet it strikes the proper balance between our need to maintain and invest in our city infrastructure with our need to manage costs.
Well done to all who contributed.