Keep site options in your sights


To the Editor:

Tisbury School Building Committee members urged the public to participate in their survey to give them guidance concerning the Tisbury Elementary School. The survey could be filled in online, via SurveyMonkey, or on paper. The deadline was May 1.

Among other questions, respondents were asked to rank three options for the Tisbury School: a new school at a new site; a new school at the current school site; a renovated school with addition at the current site. They were asked to list pros and cons of all three options. Not offered as a choice was a “basic renovation” of the current school.

At a meeting on May 1 called by the TSBC and the Tisbury Vision Council for the purpose of generating input from the public, a TSBC committee member told me that the survey results would be published on Wednesday, May 3. I attended the May 3 meeting, and the survey results were discussed. According to pie charts shown, a clear majority of respondents favored keeping the school where it is. It was not clear whether the survey results would be released beyond that meeting. It was suggested to extend the survey deadline or possibly to start up a new survey. Many committee members stated that they thought the results were strong already. I don’t see the survey results at the TWBC’s website,

The attendees who spoke at the May 1 meeting were overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the school at the current site, and at least retaining its facade. The selectmen have voted in favor of keeping the school at its current site. The “new site” option is the Manter Well site. The whole Manter Well area is shown as protected ancient woodlands on the interactive map of the Island prepared by David Foster (a Google search for “Martha’s Vineyard map protected ancient woodlands” brings the map to the top of the images shown).

According to the project website, a “final public forum for site option” will take place May 24 at 6 pm in the Tisbury school gym. All who take an interest in the process, direction, outcome, and cost of this project should plan to attend.

Katherine Scott