News Briefs

Northeast Metro Tech APPROVED FOR new building

Superintendent David DiBarri, Principal Carla Scuzzarella and School Committee Chair Deborah Davis are pleased to announce that the Massachusetts School Building Authority approved Northeast Metro Tech’s proposal for a new building.

During a board of directors meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 13, MSBA — a state agency that works with communities to support educationally-appropriate, flexible, sustainable and cost-effective public school facilities — announced that it accepted Northeast into the Core Program, which assists districts with projects like extensive repairs, renovations, additions and new school construction.

“We’re thrilled to have our project accepted by the MSBA and are extremely thankful for this partnership,” Superintendent DiBarri said. “This new building project will allow us to meet the requirements of 21st-century learning and provide our students with an updated space to excel in both academics and their technical areas of study.”

Northeast representatives at the board of directors meeting included:

  • Superintendent David DiBarri
  • Dr. Carla Scuzzarella, principal
  • Jay Picone, director of finance
  • Deborah Davis, School Committee chair, Woburn
  • Judith Dyment, School Committee vice-chairman, North Reading
  • Larry Means, School Committee treasurer, Stoneham
  • Peter Rossetti, School Committee secretary, Saugus
  • Robert McCarthy, School Committee, Reading
  • Dawne Armistead, School Committee, Winthrop
  • Joseph Papagni, president of Northeast Metro Tech’s Teachers Association

“We’re beyond excited for this opportunity to continue the process of building a new school,” said Davis. “We typically have a waiting list of 400-600 students, and this new school will allow us to keep turning out the best vocational students in the state, and I dare say, in the country. We’d like to thank the MSBA for their consideration on this and also the administration, faculty and my fellow school committee members for all their work that’s brought us this far.”

Superintendent DiBarri would also like to thank Gov. Charlie Baker, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, House Minority Leader Bradley Jones and Sen. Jason Lewis for their leadership and support for public and vocational education.

With acceptance into the Core Program, the MSBA will reimburse Northeast for 71.84 percent of costs associated with the new building. The remainder will be paid by the cities and towns in the school district — mortgaged over a 30-year period. Local cost will be divided among communities based on the prior year Oct. 1 enrollment, as agreed to in the district’s charter.

Northeast submitted their statement of interest for a new building project to the MSBA in April. School officials first looked into the possibility of a new building two years ago when a feasibility study called for a complete replacement of all mechanical systems and electrical systems, along with a full code and regulations update to the current building.

The study also revealed that Northeast’s building requires modernization to comply with state regulations in terms of size and program demands, and is in need of more special education accommodations and better designated public meeting areas.

Northeast will now begin the process of completing a design study to determine the cost and timeline of the new building, which will be built on adjacent school land.

Fire Department urges Cold Weather Safety

With below freezing temperatures in the forecast for this week and next, safety officials are asking residents to review and follow several key safety tips. According to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, daytime high temperatures will likely not rise above the teens from Thursday through the weekend, and high temperatures in some inland locations may not rise above the single digits. Overnight low temperatures will likely drop below zero. The coldest periods are forecast to be Wednesday night into Thursday morning and Thursday night into Friday morning. Another bout of especially cold wind chills is possible Saturday night into Sunday morning and Sunday night into Monday morning. “We want to ensure that community members are safe when outside, in their homes and while driving during this bout of extremely cold weather,” Chief Flanagan said. “Please remember to always dress appropriately and limit your time and pets’ time outdoors.” With this type of weather, frostbite and hypothermia are possible for those without proper protection from the cold. To stay safe, the Winthrop Fire Department asks that residents follow these tips from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency:

  • Minimize outdoor activities for the whole family, including pets.
  • If outside, dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing instead of a single heavy layer. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens (not gloves) and sturdy waterproof boots to protect your extremities. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs. • Be a good neighbor. Check with elderly or disabled relatives and neighbors to ensure their safety.
  • Additionally, because of the extreme cold, other areas of your home and vehicles may be affected:

Increased fire risk due to unsafe/improper use of alternative heating sources or people trying to thaw frozen pipes with blowtorches or similar devices.

  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Locate the area of the water pipe that might be frozen. Likely places include pipes running against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation. • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove, or other open flame devices. A blowtorch can make water in a frozen pipe boil and cause the pipe to explode. All open flames in homes present a serious fire danger, as well as a severe risk of exposure to lethal carbon monoxide.

Possible increase in incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning from unsafe/improper use of alternative heating sources.

  • Ensure you have sufficient heating fuel, as well as alternate emergency heating equipment in case you lose electricity.
  • When utilizing alternate heating sources, such as an emergency generator, your fireplace, wood stove or space heater, make sure they are properly ventilated and always operate a generator outdoors and away from your home. Improper use of heating devices can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide buildup in the home.

Possible vehicle failure.

  • Make sure your car is properly winterized. Keep the gas tank at least half-full. Carry a winter emergency car kit including blankets, extra clothing, a flashlight with spare batteries, non-perishable foods, windshield scraper, shovel, sand, tow rope and jumper cables in the trunk.

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