Make that three motions to save the wood shop program at the Barrington Middle School at next week’s Financial Town Meeting. Two ask for more money to bring it into compliance with the fire code.
All the motions are from William and Kari Banas, of 74 Fales Avenue.
Their latest two motions, filed on Tuesday, May 16, ask that even more money be added to the school budget. Indeed, more money may be the only way to save the wood shop program because the shop does not meet the fire code.
“It’s not in code,” confirmed Skip Learned, facilities director, of the wood shop. “It probably shouldn’t be used.”
Learned said the room is out of code primarily because the sawdust-removal system is inside the building, not outside, as the current fire code mandates.
To make the room as healthy as possible this year, Learned said, an industrial fan was set in the doorway to help pull air and dust out of the room. The sawdust removal system also was cleaned more often, he said.
If voters want to save the program, Learned agreed: “It should be done right” – by getting it into compliance with the fire code. Which will mean more money.
The first motion filed by William and Kari Banas on Monday asked for $108,000.
Their Tuesday motions ask that “the wood shop program be level-funded and that “the wood shop sawdust removal system be brought up to code due to the Barrington Fire Marshal notification received in 2012.”
One of their motions asks for $128,000; the other asks for $144,000.
The difference between those two motions and their first one -- $20,000 to $36,000 – is a ballpark figure of what it would cost to get the wood shop into compliance with the fire code, Learned said.
Learned also said that bringing the wood shop into compliance was on the original list of health and safety work at all six schools that is to be completed at a cost of more than $2.4 million. Learned said it was pulled off that list to make more necessary repairs to the schools.
Kari Banas presented another petition that supports her motions to the School Committee at Thursday night's meeting. She said she gathered 224 signatures even after she explained to people that putting more money back into the school budget would hike taxes.
"The pulse that I got from people is that they really believe in the program," she said.
Banas said she would rather not have been forced to go before the Financial Town Meeting with these motions. But the School Committe didn't give other other options before making the cut, she said.
Banas also said she is aware that only the option with the largest figure, $144,000, could save the program. The sawdust collection system has to be brought into code or the program probably can't operate, she said.
The cost to bring that system into code, said Ron Tarro, finance director, will be between $10,000 and $30,000.
Scott Douglas, a parent and PTO member who attends most School Commitee meetings, specifically asked the administration Thursday, thus, which motion he and other PTO members should support if they want to save wood shop. The answer: the motion with the largest dollar figure.