Board to discuss future of ABS trailers (Sept. 18, 2008)

Sept. 18, 2008
By Tim Simard
Observer staff

Members of the Williston School Board are scheduled to appear before the Development Review Board on Tuesday to discuss a possible permit extension for the Allen Brook School modular classrooms.

At the meeting, originally scheduled for July, the School Board plans to discuss the continued need for the classrooms, citing the district’s current restructuring process.

“We can’t be without them,” said School Board Chairwoman Darlene Worth.

The trailers were given a four-year permit by the Development Review Board in February 2006, after which they are to be removed. One stipulation of the permit was the district had to provide a long-term master plan for the site.

Worth said the master plan was completed this summer and highlights the current changes the district has enacted while providing current enrollment numbers.

In May, Worth sent a letter to the Development Review Board highlighting the School Board’s intentions to seek a permit extension before the expiration in February 2010.

“The Board and its facility committee will be working the next 3-5 years focusing on existing facility issues and needs, and reconfiguring how we use space currently in support of the overall education program,” the letter states. “The board intends to request another four year extension of the existing permit prior to the expiration of the current permit.”

Students moved into the trailers in the 2002-2003 school year. The classrooms were meant to be a temporary solution for increasing enrollment until another wing of Allen Brook School could be built.

The School Board may meet some resistance from members of the Development Review Board. Board Chairman Kevin McDermott told the Observer in May he believes the school wants the classrooms to become permanent structures. He said the Development Review Board only approved the trailers as temporary structures in the past.

Besides members of the School Board, Chittenden South Supervisory Union Superintendent Elaine Pinckney is also expected to attend.

The Development Review Board meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at Town Hall.