During the week of April 11, there were some important developments in the Cabot building project…

PTO votes in support of design approved by CSBC on April 5, 2016

The result of the Cabot PTO vote last week was overwhelming support for the proposed design for the addition/renovation of Cabot School, with not a single PTO member, of the over 170 who participated, voting against its support (two respondents did share that they had no opinion on the subject).

Ward 2 City Councilors request time to review design alternative from neighborhood architect

Expressing dissatisfaction with the placement of the gym in the approved design, the Ward 2 City Councilors asked the Cabot Working Group and the Design Review Committee for a pause in the process to explore an alternative design concepts conceived by a Newtonville architect.  This unexpected request comes as a June 2 submission deadline to the MSBA for the Schematic Design for the project is approaching.

The exact impact of this “exploration” is unknown.  If a short pause can quickly determine that the alternate plans do not work, it may still be possible to seek the approval of full City Council of the current plan in time to meet the MSBA deadline for the submission of the Cabot Schematic Design on June 2, 2016.  However, a long review or potential change to a new design concept would result in missing the June 2 MSBA deadline.  The ramifications of this on the overall project timeline and budget are potentially significant.  Getting the current plan from an early concept stage to being ready for submission as a schematic design has taken over 8 months.

Your input matters

There are several actions the Cabot community can consider given these recent developments and the fact that, should the development of an alternate design concept be considered, the task of ensuring the new concept meets the needs of our teachers and students will fall to the hands of a new or interim Cabot principal.

  • Email the Newton City Councilors to share your thoughts on the current design and a potential delay of the Cabot School project.  A list of the individual Councilor’s names and their email addresses can be found here.
  • Email the School Committee to request that Cabot move to Carr in Sept. 2017 regardless of the status of the Cabot building project and ask that an assistant principal is provided to Cabot beginning in the next school year to ease the burden of managing the move to Carr, the continuation of the building project process, and the daily operations of the school on a new or interim principal.
  • Try to attend future public meetings of the Cabot School Building Committee and Design Review Committee.  The dates and times are posted in the Events section at cabotpto.org.  The next public meeting is Thursday, May 5, at 6pm in Room 210 of the Education Center, 100 Walnut Street.