School Committee Updates Capital Plan/ Building Maintenance Items Addressed.

At it's November 2015 meeting, The Hatfield School Committee reviewed the multi-year capital needs plan for the School District. The plan is designed to identify any ongoing facility repairs and upgrades needed at both schools so that potential problems can be identified early on so the necessary steps can be taken address them. The plan also makes it easier to budget "down the road" for any anticipated projects.

As part of it's multi-year plan the School Committee voted to submit several projects to the Capital Improvement Planning Committee for approval.  These projects include: replacing the current sewer pump at the Elementary School, repaving the parking lots at both Smith Academy and at the Elementary School, replacing the original walk-in kitchen freezer at Smith Academy, and replacing the current telephones at both schools. In order for a capital item to be considered by the town, the cost of the project needs to be in excess of $10,000 and have a life expectancy of at least five years. It's the Capital Improvement Planning Committee that makes recommendations to the Board of Selectman on projects to include at the annual town meeting. 

Other capital needs identified in the plan include major upgrades to the Elementary School auditorium. This would include the installation of both wireless and hanging microphones, improvements to the speakers, and the installation of a sound mixer and sound amplifier. Other improvements planned include the installation of a ceiling mounted projector with a blueray player. These much needed upgrades will be used for school-wide assemblies, concerts, as well as, the Spring Musical. The projects would be funded through a combination of grants, donations, revolving accounts, and the local school budget. 

Another item identified is the renovation of the Frank E. Abarno Library at Smith Academy. Plans include not just new carpeting and furniture, but the installation of state of the art technology, the type commonly found in libraries and media centers located in new high schools. These improvements would not only replace an aging outdated library, but provide the technology needed to support the twenty-first century learning that is required in colleges and in the work place. The Committee has discussed using a combination of grants, donations, and school choice funds to pay for this project. 

In addition to the above projects, ongoing maintenance continues at both schools and with the fields.  Recently, two serious leaks were repaired at the Elementary School. These leaks were causing water to come into both a first grade classroom, as well as, into the music/art room. After some investigation, both leaks have now been repaired. This was done by utilizing both outside service providers, as well as, our own talented custodial staff. Also, under the direction of our Athletic Director, David Keir, upgrades continue to be made to the athletic fields behind Smith Academy.  In addition, the old rusted fence that runs along the side of the Elementary School playground and rear parking lot will soon be removed.  

I want to thank our hardworking custodians; Bob, Casey,James, and Karen, who work everyday to help keep the Hatfield Public Schools clean and safe. I also want to thank Phil and all the Hatfield DPW workers who assist us with ongoing building maintenance issues, mowing the fields, and plowing our roads. Without these hardworking people, we would have a difficult time doing our jobs.  


John F. Robert