Regional high school committee certifies $17.6 million budget


The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) committee voted to certify the district’s $17,642,376 fiscal year 2014 budget at a meeting Monday night. The new budget is 5.5 percent higher than the FY13 budget of $16,938,627.

At the recommendation of the land use subcommittee, the school committee unanimously approved a proposal from Jerry Murphy, general manager, chief financial officer and owner of the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks baseball team.

The plan is to install lights to allow night games and 420 stadium seats at the high school playing field the team leases, and to replace the cyclone fence behind home plate between the two dugouts with a three-foot brick facade wall with traditional netting to improve their fans’ view. Mr. Murphy said the project would be financed by the Sharks, at a cost of $220,000 for the lights and $60,000 to $70,000 for the seats, which come from Baltimore’s Camden Yards. Because of the ball field’s proximity to the airport, Mr. Murphy said approval for the light poles is pending from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Superintendent of schools James Weiss requested that the team hold a meeting to inform residents who live near the field about the lights, which will be turned off no later than 10 pm.

In other business, MVRHS Principal Steve Nixon introduced senior Dana Jacobs, who was selected for this month’s “Student Spotlight.” Her many activities include volunteer work, participation in the school’s Peer Outreach and Model U.N. programs, writing a novel, and creating graphic design projects. She also works 32 hours a week at the Green Room.

Mr. Nixon also gave special acknowledgement to the selfless efforts of the high school’s Young Brothers to Men members, who raised enough in donations, including the generous contribution of fresh turkeys by Cronig’s owner Steve Bernier, to provide 54 Thanksgiving food baskets to needy families through the Island Food Pantry this year.

In other business, the school committee voted to approve first readings of an English Language Fluency and Literacy Policy and an amended school Wellness Policy, and to acknowledge with regret the retirement of Special Education secretary Carol Whitmarsh on January 21, 2013, after almost 20 years.