The 2022 Annual Town Meeting concluded on Monday, May 9. Among the over 40 articles voted on by Town Meeting Members were several that impact Needham Schools. A full list of warrant articles, including video presentations and FAQs, can be found on the Needham town website.
ANNUAL TOWN MEETING ARTICLES:
Article 10: FY '23 Operating Budget (approved)
The school operating budget (primarily salaries and expenses) of $87,277,798 was approved within the town's operating budget. This represents a 4.4% increase over the previous year's budget, and includes an increase of 25.82 Full Time Equivalents (FTE) — almost all of whom are already employed by Needham Public Schools, but whose FY ’22 costs are covered by temporary COVID-19 grant funding; this funding is no longer available for FY ’23 but the positions remain necessary for continued student support. The detailed budget report is available on the NPS website.
Article 20: High School Tennis Court Design (approved)
The High School tennis courts have fallen into disrepair and are not able to be used by the NHS tennis teams. This article appropriates $50,000 for a study to evaluate the current condition of the courts and provide design options for both a resurfacing project and a full renovation. Once a solution is determined, additional funds will be requested to either repair or replace the courts.
Article 21: Emery Grover Renovation (approved)
In October 2021, Special Town Meeting appropriated $1,475,000 in design funding, and this article now provides $19,400,000 in construction funds, including necessary renovations to the Hillside School so it can be used as swing space during construction. Given rising inflation, market conditions, and supply chain issues, it is likely that additional funds will need to be appropriated at Special Town Meeting this fall. The project is funded through a combination of Community Preservation Act funds, cash, and debt.
Article 22: Hillside School Heating Repairs (approved)
While Hillside is no longer being used as a school, it is still in use as swing space, including during the upcoming Emery Grover renovation. The current heating system has failed and and needs to be repaired to both allow the building to be used as office space and to prevent damage to the structure from freezing. $275,000 was appropriated to pay for the repairs.
Article 23: General Fund Cash Capital (approved)
This article , which appropriates funds for one-time smaller capital improvements, included several school-related projects, including:
Roof Top Unit Replacement at Broadmeadow & Eliot Schools ($817,750)
School Copier Replacement ($53,275)
School Furniture & Musical Equipment ($25,000)
School Technology Replacement ($437,000)
Article 24: Pollard School Locker Room Retrofit (approved)
$1,068,500 was appropriated to update the Pollard locker rooms to better meet the needs of today's students. The locker room area will not be affected by any proposed future renovations to Pollard.
Article 26: Library Space Utilization Study (approved)
This article appropriates $60,000 engage a professional space planner to determine if the Library's interior space can be better arranged to accommodate high volumes of students and tutors who use the study rooms and study areas during the school year.
Watch 2022 Town Meeting: