The constant buzz of fluorescent lights and occasional thud on the roof fills the almost empty library. Two men in clean suits stand speaking with a school board member.
One of them greets me and gestures to the cart of cookies and coffee off to the side, a safe distance from the shelves of dry books. The other man introduces himself as David Steward, Marshfield School’s superintendent.
The long range school planning meeting was scheduled for Feb. 25, but for one reason or another it was rescheduled for the following Tuesday, Mar. 3. It may have been for this reason that only four members of the community (including yours truly) attended the meeting.
Despite the low attendance, Steward continued with the presentation. He mentions all of the things they’ve changed for the school in the past couple of years, including fixing the high school student parking lot and replacing HVAC systems, before revealing the projects they hope to take on in the new school year.
Most of the plans for the next school year include separate routes between the schools so the buses can be separated from parents picking up and dropping off their children, the addition of more cameras on both buildings and buses, and asbestos removal. In addition to safety and maintenance changes, plans for an early childhood center, a multi-purpose sports facility, an addition to the high school shop, and JROTC were also discussed.
Students and faculty at the high school know that there are plenty of problems with the building, including mold on bathroom ceilings and leaky classroom windows. Steward expressed his desire to both add more space for students at the schools as well as keep the space they already have in top shape.
The meeting closed with a survey on which future plans are most important, and then the group disbanded, some wandering toward the parking lot, others staying to question and converse with the superintendent. It was admitted at the beginning that they expected at least fifty community members to attend.
People eager to get involved in the school community should monitor the school’s Facebook pages for announcements of meetings and updates, and take initiative to change what they think needs changing.