RMS Project Earns Two Awards

The renovation project that was recently completed at Rochester Memorial School received two awards, which the Building Committee and Town Administrator Richard LaCamera presented on Monday, November 19.  The presentation was made during the Board of Selectmen’s regular meeting.

“I think that’s fantastic,” said LaCamera.  “The Building Committee should be commended.”

The Committee planned the project to be completed over the span of 18 months.  Not only did they finish the project on time, but they also had the project completed for $920,000 under budget.

“We built what we said we were going to build, delivered it on the date we said we were going to deliver and finished under budget, which is unheard of,” said Building Committee Member Arnold Johnson.

Johnson presented an award, which was presented to RMS for being green, or environmentally certified.  Additionally, the RMS project received a national acclaimed Gilbane Award for its excellence in construction.

Because the project is now in its final stage of repayment, the Board of Selectmen voted to officially disband the Building Committee.  Now, the maintenance of the school is turned over to the Rochester School Committee.

“I hope the School Committee is diligent in maintaining the building,” said Selectman Naida Parker.

In other news, LaCamera made a recommendation for a contractor to complete the renovations to the Town Hall that were approved at the Special Town Meeting.  The entire exterior of the building will be renovated, including windows, roof and siding.

The project had an estimated price tag of $90,000. The contractor LaCamera suggested to complete the project submitted a bid of $86,000, but that was not the lowest bid.  The lowest pbid was $79,898, but it was rejected because they only had experience with repairs and not with building or historical properties.

The Board voted in favor of the $86,000 bid.

The town recently received a $15,000 grant which was originally suggested by Conservation Agent Laurel Farignon in order to update the data mapping in Rochester.  The Board approved a $13,000 bid to complete the project.

The Board voted to accept the resignation of  Library Trustees Elizabeth Owen , who is stepping down for health reasons.  The Board voted unanimously to appoint Winston Sharples to fill the seat, which will expire in April.

The Rochester Board of Selectmen will meet again on Monday, December 3 at 7:00 pm in Rochester Town Hall.

By Katy Fitzpatrick 

One Response to “RMS Project Earns Two Awards”

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  1. Congratulations to the Town of Rochester for its recent accolades earned from the renovation to the Rochester Memorial School. The Building Committee members along with the town officials involved, worked tirelessly and in the best interest of our community. I am grateful for their dedicated service.

    Unfortunately, the project’s end result leaves many of us in a quandary. How can a public school building be complete without the inclusion of a playground for its students? When I asked this question of our school’s project leaders, I was told that the Massachusetts School Building Authority does not consider the costs of a school playground to be reimbursable under its current guidelines. Therefore, a quality outdoor space for student physical activity was not included in the budget.

    In light of the fact that the Rochester Memorial School building project “completed for $920,000 under budget”, it may be time that the MSBA consider the following facts:

    -Childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years.

    -The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008.

    -The percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period.

    -Today, more than one third of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese. These youngsters are more likely to suffer immediate and long-term health issues, including: poor self-esteem, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and several types of cancer.

    Physical activity in combination with other healthy habits, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases. Physical activity behaviors of children are influenced by many sectors of society, including our schools. Our schools play a particularly critical role by establishing a safe and supportive environment with policies and practices that support healthy behaviors. It is our best schools that provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice physical activity behaviors.

    Massachusetts has often been regarded highly for its delivery of quality public education to all students. It is unfortunate that the MSBA does not consider physical activity an essential component in our school’s ability to educate our children. I am hopeful that our residents and local leaders will support the necessary funding to truly complete such a wonderful investment in our community.

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