Preschool paying Chilmark building repairs 

The preschool’s residency at the Chilmark School is up for renegotiation with the town in June.

The Chilmark School — MV Times

Updated, May 17

The Chilmark Preschool is agreeing to cover the costs of needed repairs at the Chilmark school, where the preschool currently operates. 

The preschool recently signed a new lease to use space in the school for another 2 years. 

At an Up Island meeting Monday and after some negotiations, the preschool agreed to pay about $11,000 for needed repairs at the Chilmark School and for a monthly storage container.

At the committee meeting, a motion was made to establish a revolving fund between the preschool and the Chilmark School to help facilitate the funding of repairs and other building costs of the Chilmark school building. But the committee was divided on whether a revolving fund was truly necessary. 

“There are upgrades that need to happen,” Superintendent Richie Smith said. “Can it just happen that way instead of establishing a revolving fund?” 

The superintendent said that as long as “everybody [has] an understanding” of the specific amounts of money being asked of the preschool, there was no need to establish a fund.   

Up Island School Committee member Robert Lionette agreed, saying, “We don’t want this to be a slush fund, we want it to be associated with the budget. My concern about it is that it’s extra budgetary at this point,” meaning the committee didn’t budget for it for the current fiscal year. 

For the moment, the two main costs that the preschool agreed to cover are the repair to the floor in one of the classrooms, and the cost of the storage unit. The committee discussed the creation of a revolving fund to mitigate any future financial tensions, but in the end did not move to create the fund. Committee Member Skip Manter said it wasn’t appropriate to vote on an item that wasn’t on the agenda. 

Instead the committee amended the motion to specifically address the floor repairs and the cost of the storage unit. 

For the past 17 years, the preschool has paid an annual rent of $1,000 to the Chilmark School, but a new location will need to be secured for the preschool. The preschool’s current location at the Chilmark School is up for renegotiation with the town in June. There is currently no lease. 

Committee Member Lionette weighed in on how to get the negotiation process between the preschool and the town started, encouraging a preliminary meeting between the Up Island School Committee chairs, Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools Business Administrator Mark Friedman, and Chilmark Town Administrator Tim Carrroll. 

“Lay out the ground rules of what needs to be done, and then we can move forward with the exact nature,” said Lionette.