Workforce Training moves to virtual reality for offshore wind jobs
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito visited the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School for a virtual reality offshore wind training demo.
Seth Chitwood, Standard-Times
DIGHTON — Member towns complained and Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School listened.
The B-P School Committee has voted to move the district-wide election that will decide the fate of funding for a new $305 million school building to March 5.
Located in Taunton, B-P serves Taunton, Bridgewater, Dighton, Middleboro, Raynham and Rehoboth, in addition to Berkley.
Alexandre Magalhaes, B-P’s superintendent-director, said on Dec. 21 the school committee approved the election date change after considering the input of district citizens and communities and being able to extend the deadline set by the state funding authority, the Massachusetts School Building Authority, for needing to secure district approval.
The move addresses loudly-expressed concerns that the previous Jan. 29 election date was too short a timeline for district members to make an informed decision on such a large building project.
In December, the district’s seven member communities sent letters to the MSBA asking it to extend the 120-day deadline the district was under to return a local approval vote.
In a recent meeting the MSBA was able to grant the district the deadline waiver it needed, making it possible for the district to approve the election date change, Magalhaes explained.
“The date choice was unanimous,” he elaborated. “The time was debated. Some wanted earlier, some later.”
The committee set the election for Saturday, March 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with voting to occur at the polling places in each member community.
Taunton City Council member and retired Taunton school superintendent Dr. Gerald Croteau said he is glad MSBA’s deadline was extended as was the time frame for the election, from four hours to six.
But Croteau said he would be more in favor of scheduling such an election on a regular Tuesday rather than a weekend day. Also, he is still not sure of the cost numbers the project planners are working with.
He noted that in the past the estimated cost per square foot for such a project would be set by the state Board of Education, and that estimated cost would hold. But he’s not certain of this project’s $360 per square foot estimate from this entirely new board, the MSBA.
“The district will pay the costs that go over that $360 per square foot estimate,” he said. “Until I see the numbers in writing, I don’t know. I don’t want a surprise.”
B-P’s proposal is to demolish the current, cramped, out-of-date B-P facility and construct a new state-of-the-art school building.
The estimated annual tax impact on the average single-family home in the B-P member communities, per the B-P website: