The Town of Cheshire seeks to draw on Cheshire’s deep pool of competent and committed volunteers for a new seven-member committee.
The Next Generation School Building Committee will help direct completion of two new schools in town, provided that voters approve November’s referendum issue on schools modernization. If the referendum passes, the plan is that a new school would be built on the north end of town, while Norton elementary would be rebuilt in its current location.
Town Manager Sean Kimball explained, “The Town must establish a School Building Committee as a state statutory requirement with respect to the school construction grant funding process.”
As well, under a 2019 Connecticut law governing public school building projects, at least one of the committee members must have construction industry experience. Other useful backgrounds include, but are not limited to, “project management, planning, design, construction, or education facilities administration,” per the Town’s recruitment notice. Members must also be registered voters and residents of Cheshire. If conflicts of interest arise, a recusal might be necessary, just as with other public agencies.
Members of the Board of Education and the Town Council will conduct interviews with interested applicants next month. After that process is complete, the group will make their recommendations to the Town Council, who will finalize the appointments and entrust the committee with its duties.
“The School Building Committee’s charge and scope of duties will be finalized once appointments are made, should the referendum pass,” adds Kimball.
The selected volunteers will be appointed to four-year terms, to start as soon as Nov. 9. Training and orientation in applicable laws such as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), procurement, and construction regulations would follow.
The Board of Education and Town Council will provide liaisons to the committee. The group will appoint its own chair.
Assistant Town Manager Arnett Talbot explains, “While working with Town officials, public school staff, the Capital Projects Manager, and hearing input from the public, the Committee’s seven members would have the major responsibility of shepherding the modernization project to completion over what is anticipated to be a four-year process.”
Residents wishing to be considered for the committee should submit a note of interest, including a brief description of any relevant areas of expertise or experience, to the Town Council c/o firstname.lastname@example.org by 10 a.m. on Oct. 3.