West William Street going one-way

American Legion will host students during school project.

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At the request of the Tisbury School Committee, West William Street will be changed to one-way for the duration of the Tisbury School renovation and addition project. 

At a joint meeting of the school committee, select board, and school building committee, the Tisbury School Committee voted unanimously to recommend the traffic-flow change. The select board voted 2-0 to adopt the recommendation.

The new traffic flow will be one-way from Martin Road to Look Street, and special allowances will be made for emergency vehicles. The new flow will, in part, accommodate a new student drop-off spot adjacent to modular classrooms. Students are expected to enter those classrooms on Nov. 28. 

“We will open it back up to two-way traffic during the summer months when school is not in session, but it would continue in the fall,” school committee chair Amy Houghton said.

Neighbors Barbara Lopes and Sue Leonard questioned the safety of the traffic direction, and suggested that West William Street should be one-way in the other direction. 

Tisbury Police Chief Chris Habekost said while he felt either direction would be safe, a one-way traffic flow from Look Street instead of toward it would cause unacceptable backups.

Committee member Michael Watts suggested the traffic flow could be adjusted, if need be, at a later time. Houghton said the committee will always be open to feedback from those living on West William Street. 

The school committee also voted unanimously to approve a lease with the American Legion. The select board voted 2-0 to approve the same lease. 

The lease will provide use of the American Legion Hall for use as a school cafeteria while the project is underway across the street. No dollar amount was given for the lease at the meeting. Reached Tuesday, JoAnn Murphy, Legion post commander, said it will be a cashless lease. The legion will get an improved kitchen in the end, due to upgrades the school will make to accommodate food service for students. “It’s helping them, and it’s helping us,” Murphy said. 

The school will have the hall from 7:30 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday, Murphy said. The utility bills will be apportioned during the school’s stay, she said.

Asked what will happen to the arms and memorabilia on display in the hall, Murphy said all weapons will be moved and properly secured. 

At the meeting, it was agreed the approval of the lease would be subject to reviews and amendments by town counsel and the American Legion’s counsel. 

Houghton said it was unclear whether the town or the school would sign the lease in the end. 

Tisbury town administrator Jay Grande agreed, but said he thought the select board would eventually become the signatory. However, he also said, “Town counsel may require all of you to sign it.”

Houghton said the school would be making “cosmetic improvements” in the hall, including painting. Tisbury School Principal John Custer later specified that up to $50,000 would be needed “to properly outfit the kitchen space,” in addition to making cosmetic changes.

The school committee voted unanimously to authorize the use of up to $50,000 from the school choice fund for upgrades and cosmetic work in the Legion hall. 

“I don’t think we can say it enough, how grateful we are to the American Legion for their continued support of our school,’ Custer said.

“That’s what the American Legion is about — helping the community, ” Murphy said Tuesday.

1 COMMENT

  1. Add that 50 grand to the cost of renovating the school , I guess.
    Good for the American Legion to agree to this.

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