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March 20, 2014

Andover selectmen nix high school expansion study

(Continued)

“We aren’t ready to do a $12 million project for the high school,” said Salafia. “Why would we do a study? Where does it fit in with all the town projects coming up, like the town yard, Ballardvale Fire Station, and the early childhood center. Can we afford it? Do we want to spend the money? Why do a study for $350,000? If that doesn’t go forward for another 5 years, that study would be useless, so why do it now?”

The proposal to pave the parking lot at the Deyermond Sports complex on Blanchard Street was also disputed.

Selectmen chairman Alex Vispoli said the town has already spent money on the site and shouldn’t be asking taxpayers for more to finish the project.

“This is why, on other projects, we lose credibility,” he said. “We fully funded it and now we’re going back for more money. We haven’t even opened it yet. You talk about losing credibility on a project, this is a perfect example.”

While Vispoli wanted to remove the article completely, other members of the board urged him to allow Ed Ataide from the Municipal Services Department to make a presentation on why the paving was needed.

“I heard that last year, when they did a soft opening, during certain wet seasons, parts of the driveway or parking areas were very wet,” said Selectman Brian Major.

Lyman said spending a quarter-million dollars on paving because of a few puddles is “overkill.”

“We have the stone dust down, it may not be perfect, but let’s go with what we’ve got,” she said. “If we need to resurface it, let’s use what we have right now. You get out of your car, it’s muddy. Hey, you are going to a playing field — it’s going to be muddy when it rains.”

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