CLARKSBURG, Mass. — In a joint meeting with the Select Board and the Americans with Disabilities Act Commission, the School Committee discussed building renovation needs. 


The most significant upcoming renovation is the installation of a chair lift, for ADA compliance. The lift will allow access from the main floor to the lower level of the split-level school, including the cafeteria, gymnasium and playground. 


"We haven't sat down all together. So, before we go and spend this money, let's make sure we're all in agreement and it sounds like we all are, so that's great," said Superintendent John Franzoni. "Thank you very much, because that was a big problem for the school." 


Town Administrator Carl McKinney said there is already funding available, via American Rescue Plan Act funds, to almost entirely pay for the lift project. He said he is working on a draft request for proposals and will do whatever is needed to work around summer programs. 


"The company that does make [the lift] will install it. And they would like to come and see it, but ultimately, I need to know what your time window is going to be," he said. The project, he explained, is expected to cost about $110,000. "Financially, we're good with that. We're using ARPA funds for the fact that the money's in the bank, we already have it. So if you have the time, we got the money." 


McKinney also suggested possibly putting solar panels on the roof of the school. He said the payments from a lease for the roof space could help finance a more significant roof renovation. 


"We do understand it's rather vital," McKinney said of the school's roof. "If we were to do a request for proposals to lease the space on the roof for a solar panel company, you're looking probably about a quarter to a third of an acre of land on the roof and get a 20-year lease agreement where the lease payments would pay for the roof." 


The group also discussed the end-of-year report required by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Franzoni said communication has been better recently. 


"I think the fact that we're talking face to face, and we're talking on the phone, that's the only way this is gonna get solved and move forward so that we can get all the funding that we need for our school and get all the grants everything else that we need to keep the school going," he said. "We need to do that, we need to work together. Otherwise, it's not going to work."  


Newly installed committee member Mary Giron said creating a schedule of important events would be helpful for communication between the school and the town. 


"If we had a schedule, I would think that everyone would know the schedule. The Select Board would know the schedule, the School Committee would know the schedule," she said. "... We can check in to make sure things are being followed, and we would just have a clear approach for all of us. And I think it would be helpful."