High school feasibility study before town meetings

The Martha's Vineyard Regional High School - MVTimes

Town meeting season is right around the corner. Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and West Tisbury all have their town meetings planned for April 11; Chilmark Town Meeting is on April 24, Tisbury’s warrant will go in front of voters April 25, and Aquinnah Town Meeting is May 9.

On all the warrants, voters in the six towns will be asked to borrow $2 million for a feasibility study that will lead to the renovation or reconstruction of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) has accepted the project into its program, and could pay for a significant portion of the building project, as well as 38 percent of the feasibility study; the authority’s process requires the feasibility study.

High school committee members say they are hopeful that town meeting voters will give the request an endorsement so that the high school rebuild or renovation can move forward.

“This is an important first step in the MSBA process, and will include a comprehensive study of all parts of the existing school, including mechanical systems, HVAC, room usage, square footage, and electrical and plumbing systems,” vice chair of the committee Kimberly Kirk told the Times. “The results will help to educate and inform the school building committee in its decisions regarding the high school. I am very excited at the opportunity to move forward with the MSBA process and our plans to provide an improved facility to our students.”

Aside from the feasibility study, town meetings will also be asked to approve amendments to the high school regional agreement.

The original regional agreement was established in 1954, and amendments were needed to reflect changes in the school system, so that the building project could meet MSBA standards.

The agreement can take effect only if all six towns approve the restatement and final approval is given by Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Risley. 


  1. Maybe if you spent less money suing your host town this wouldn’t be such a high price tag. As an added bonus you’d be able to move forward with natural grass athletic fields!

    • This has nothing to do with the turf project currently in land court. I know you know that. The school needs to be built.

      Would you suggest we test every material used in construction of the new school, like the turf was tested? What happens then if you don’t like the results, will you oppose a new school to, like you did when you didn’t like the results of the testing of the turf materials? During testimony at the MVC, and the Planning board, the testing companies said the turf was safe. The town should drop the law suit as it is clear that PFAS levels in the grounds currently are higher that the “de minimus” levels indicated by the testing companies hired by the MVC. You want to decrease the risk of PFAS in the aquifer like you say you do, then support to build the field with turf because the soils the grass you want are loaded with PFAS. If the planning board chair didn’t ignore these results we wouldn’t have wasted the $50K in testing and we wouldn’t waste all the money in legal fees. FYI, as you know, the PB chair voted to accept the field project as is, he wrote no contingencies. I still ask the question, how did the need for a special permit get back to the planning board when his board voted that there wasn’t one needed? I feel there was some back dealing, but that will never be proven.

    • MVRHS owns the land in Oak Bluffs. Oak Bluffs pays for students attend MVRHS on that land. Why are they hosts? I guess you should consider a getting an education on what a feasibility study costs and how it has nothing to do with an appeal of the special permit decision. You keep linking things that are not linked to push an agenda. It’s old and tiresome.

    • A natural grass field that uses natural grass seed, natural fertilizers, natural herbicides, and all natural diesel fuel for the mowing machines, naturally.

      • Organic doesn’t mean PFAS free. Several studies have shown that a lot of common “organic” fertilizers actually contain increased amounts of PFAS. Possibly the fertilizers used on the OB school by the Field Fund could have contained PFAS. So when they were thinking that they were doing “good” by using “organic” they actually contaminated the field with PFAS. I haven’t heard them deny it yet or publicize the fertilizer they did use. Lastly Albert, it has been shown that grass fields in New England are almost impossible to maintain when they are overused, as indicated by the numbers provided to the MVC by the expert they brought in from Weston.

  2. How about this: we ask the teachers who work there about the space, the maintenance staff how the HVAC, plumbing and electrical work, and have a building inspector run an eye over the structure? Seems like that’d cost a lot less than 2 million and give a good sense about whether we should renovate or rebuild. But good sense is in short supply these days.

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