Chilmark selectmen hear litany of needed school repairs


Chilmark selectmen Wednesday agreed to pay for lifeguard training for the town beach superintendent, reviewed a report calling for extensive repairs at the Chilmark School, and discussed a new schedule for the harbor staff this summer.

Selectmen first met with the beach committee to discuss lifeguard training for beach superintendent Martina Mastromonaco, a topic that has come up several times recently.

Although Ms. Mastromonaco is in charge of all the lifeguards in the summer at Lucy Vincent Beach, she is not a certified lifeguard herself, according to town officials.

Earlier this year selectmen discussed the possibility of paying for Ms. Mastromonaco’s training to become a lifeguard, but members of the human resource board opposed the plan, because town bylaws prohibit a seasonal or part-time employee from receiving paid training. The beach committee subsequently set a deadline of May 2014 for Ms. Mastromonaco to complete her training.

Selectmen on Tuesday questioned the logic of waiting another year. “I just feel pretty strongly that someone supervising lifeguards should be certified as a lifeguard,” selectman Bill Rossi said.

Selectmen unanimously agreed to fund the training, expected to cost about $700, out of fears about safety and liability.

Selectmen also made a cursory review of a report from Michael Lagace, senior project manager for consulting engineers Noblin & Associates, regarding the condition of the building envelope at the Chilmark School.

The report says the school, which was completed in 1999, has been “plagued by many problems since day one.” Those problems include improperly functioning windows and doors, improperly functioning gutters, site grading and drainage, pipes freezing in attics and heating problems, the report said.

The report itemizes more than $625,000 in needed repairs, a figure that would increase dramatically if all windows were replaced.

Selectmen did not get into the specifics of the report, but they did comment on the hefty estimates.

“I looked at some of the pricing as being exorbitant amounts,” Mr. Rossi said.

Selectman Warren Doty recommended that the town reach out to Peter Knight, owner of Knight Homebuilders, to review the report and serve as a consultant on future repairs at the school. Selectmen agreed to ask for Mr. Knight’s help.

The seven-room school cost $3.6 million to build.

Selectmen also reviewed a draft schedule for the harbor staff for this summer. The schedule allows for harbor master Dennis Jason, assistant harbor master Richard Steves, and a second assistant harbor master yet to be hired.

Selectman Warren Doty wrote the draft schedule and said one of the goals was to make sure either the harbor master or one of the assistant harbor masters is in the harbor master shack at all times when it is open in the summer.

Selectmen did not vote on the schedule and agreed to revisit it at their next meeting.