Tisbury School receives certificate of approval


Last Thursday, the Tisbury board of selectmen signed the certificate of approval for the preferred schematic report for the Tisbury School building project, but only after another lengthy back-and-forth over the selectmen’s concerns with the price tag.

The signing of the certificate of approval for the Tisbury School signals an end to the feasibility-study phase of the project, and assures the Massachusetts School Building Authority that the school building committee has completed all the required forums and meetings.

The building committee approved a new school on land where the current school is located. Once it’s built, the old school will be taken down to make way for playing fields.

At Thursday’s meeting, there was some concern expressed about the cost of the project and the future design of the school, but the selectmen were able to reach a unanimous decision to sign the certificate, out of interest in forwarding the project.

The overall cost of the project is $44.9 million, with MSBA reimbursing nearly 42 percent of the project costs. This cost includes the feasibility study, project management, architect and engineer design costs, construction costs, and furnishings. The anticipated cost to the town is estimated at $33 million, which would eventually require a town vote to approve a Proposition 2½ debt exclusion.

“I would like to believe that the committee will have some wisdom when presented with all the opportunities to look at evidence and facts and realities of the town’s finances,” selectman Melinda Loberg said. “If they don’t and they proceed along and they get the big hole in the end, so be it.”

Selectman Tristan Israel said he’s hopeful the committee will consider a backup plan.

“I will support whatever the final decision is later on,” chairman Larry Gomez said.

At this point, the proposal is in the hands of the MSBA for a further detailed inspection and development of the schematic design as a whole.

During that same meeting Thursday, the Tisbury board officially accepted an innovative technology grant from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center for $150,000 to test alternative septic systems.