WARWICK, RI — The Warwick School Committee livestream will resume, the board voted unanimously Tuesday.
Committee member David Testa said livestreaming “makes meetings much more transparent. I think it’s necessary. Any meeting where public business takes place, we need to livestream.”
Committee chair Judy Cobden explained the Sept. 14 meeting was not live-streamed on the committee’s YouTube channel due to the unavailability of the camera operator.
Jeff Taylor, the district’s Director of Technology, said the equipment being used for the broadcasts had been borrowed.
The district will need to spend $3,000 for the equipment needed, Taylor said.
“We really did it as inexpensively as we could,” Taylor said, noting an AV technician has been hired to supervise the filming.
Cobden urged volunteers to step forward in case the AV technician is unavailable to record meetings.
The committee also approved:
- A contract award of $64,920 for several school building projects, including the architectural designs for ADA playgrounds at five elementary schools – Greenwood, Hoxsie, Oakland Beach, Sherman, and Warwick Early Learning Center (WELC)
- A contract award of $4,320 for HVAC schematic design for Winman Middle School
- A contract award of $84,900 for the Lippitt Elementary School Masonry project
- Partial funding of Veterans Middle School’s ADA Upgrades project
In a letter to Superintendent Lynn Dambruch, Testa, who serves as chairman of the School Building Committee, wrote at the Oct. 5 meeting, the committee discussed partially funding the Vet’s Middle School Cafeteria project with the funds remaining from the Vet’s ADA upgrades project.
“It was explained that in discussions with RIDE, it was agreed that the district would be able to use the remaining ADA upgrades bond funds to pay for any ADA related work that is included in this project.”
The serving pick up and serving lines will be ADA-compliant, along with cashier and kitchen work stations, and ADA staff and janitorial restroom and workroom areas. RIDE will not allow for use of the bond funds for the kitchen equipment,” Testa said.
The school committee also approved the reassignment of all remaining Sherman Elementary School Bond projects to the 2022-2023 project year, including design and construction. The projects are: remaining ADA projects, paving, doors and windows, HVAC/mechanical, electrical and plumbing at a total cost of $3, 583, 683.
During the meeting’s public comments portion, Warwick Teachers Union President Darlene Netcoh said the School Committee was not to blame for the recent problems with buses operated by First Student.
“Warwick Public Schools have nothing to do with the daily running of the busses,” Netcoh noted. “The system has a contract with the bus company. In my opinion, the bus company needs to live up to that contract and if the bus company can not live up to that contract, perhaps Warwick Public Schools will have to withhold some money from that bus company.”
Warwick parents received an email Tuesday morning saying both the morning and afternoon bus routes would be delayed by at least 15 minutes. First Student told WPRI they were short on drivers because some tested positive for COVID-19.
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