Modular classrooms back in March
UMass, acting as The Grinch, gave Amherst an early Christmas load of coal by destroying the town owned $215,000 portable classrooms installed behind the School of Education, aka the former "Mark's Meadow Elementary School."
Interestingly the town is still paying off the ten year $215K loan on the classrooms, which were never actually used as classrooms. Clueless Town Meeting almost unanimously authorized the expenditure in 2007, but Mark's Meadow closed down in 2010.
According to Superintendent Maria Geryk the downsizing saved $850,000 in the town's elementary budget, but was bitterly opposed by parents and some town officials with children attending Mark's Meadow.
School Committee member Catherine Sanderson became a combination Wicked Witch of the West & Joan of Arc (aka burned at the stake) for her leadership role in shuttering Mark's Meadow.
But these days even Superintendent Geryk uses it as an example of why the town should consider mothballing the Middle School building and relocating/consolidating students into the High School.
On Monday night the Select Board, with no input allowed, approved the Interim Town Manager signing a "Strategic Partnership Agreement" with UMass that for the first time in history pays something towards the 56 children from tax exempt UMass housing attending our public schools, at an estimated cost of $1,267,000.
Of course that something is a lousy $120,000 or less than ten cents on the dollar.