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Town may hire consultants for school project

By Stephen Skudlarek
On November 13, 2012

Two new elementary school projects in Mansfield are seeking consultants, which could cost the town between $5,000 and $10,000.

At Tuesday's meeting, the town council considered taking on the services of CREC (Capitol Region Education Council).

Two officials from CREC, Robert Saunders and Roger LaFleur, were brought in to discuss the school building project.
CREC assists towns with the construction of schools, from any given stage in the project from planning to its end.

In addition to construction and planning, the organization specializes in a wide variety of areas of consulting for these projects, including energy efficiency, building design and operation, among other things.

Saunders and LaFleur estimated that CREC's services would cost the town between $5000 to $10,000 for the project.
Council member David Freudmann tried to make a motion at the meeting to set up a "pay-as-you-go" type of plan for renovations and building, but the motion was denied.

The other council members wouldn't let him make the motion because they felt the issue on the agenda dealt with hiring the CREC consultants, not the school building project as a whole.

Freudmann disagreed with this, saying that he felt that the town has already taken long enough to debate this issue.

"We've spent six and a half years focusing on this school building project. We've run up a tab of almost a quarter of a million dollars on consultants during this time period. So, what do we do? We hire even more consultants. How is this going to solve the problem?" Freudmann said

Elizabeth Paterson said that the council did not have a clear consensus from the townspeople.

"It doesn't matter if this takes seven years, or however long it takes. We're not ready to make a decision on this yet. We need to look at every aspect of this project first," Paterson said.

The council passed a motion to consult with the CREC officials and get an assessment on whether the school building project is currently heading in what they believe to be the correct direction.

The CREC officials will report back to the Town Council sometime in the future on their possible options with regard to this project. 

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