Needham’s 2015 Annual May Town Meeting concluded after three long nights, and there was plenty to be grateful for as Town Meeting Members consistently voted to support several school projects and initiatives, including the passage of a $61.5 million operating budget.
Town Meeting also voted to support the following School projects and capital needs:
• Articles 31 & 32: Newman Athletic Fields and the Eastman Conservation Area received $2.3 million in funding to support the renovation of the fields and the rehabilitation of Eastman. The Eastman Conservation Area is a popular student destination and will be upgraded and made handicapped accessible.
• Article 41: School Capital Budget includes $511,145 to purchase technology, furniture, and copiers. These funds will be used to keep school technology and infrastructure current and replace older desktops, some over seven years old. Copiers and furniture will be replaced only as needed and according to a sophisticated inventory program.
• Article 39: $150,000 was appropriated to design a 2,500 square foot cafeteria expansion at Needham High School. The school’s enrollment far exceeds its design capacity, and this café project is the first of two phases of expansion needed at the high school. Next year, the School Committee will work with Town Boards and Town Meeting to secure additional funds for a classroom expansion project.
In addition to these important school appropriations, Town Meeting also provided funding to address school building upgrades, needs, and maintenance. Additional funds were voted for other capital needs and contingencies, including for all athletic fields, which are heavily used by Needham’s students and young people.
The Needham community, as represented by its dedicated Town officials, Boards, and Town Meeting Members, has once again wisely prioritized school needs as a clear demonstration of its ongoing commitment to children. Thanks, Town Meeting!