Letters to the Editor

Important Information from the Westfield Board of Education

Synopsis of a Westfield Board of Education meeting on April 22, 2014


The Westfield Booster Club presented a proposal to the Board of Education
to fund a locker room renovation at Kehler Stadium with a total cost of
$95,000.  The Board approved a resolution for $10,000 to be reallocated
from the 2014-15 budget toward the renovation of the locker room project.

Boosters member Frank Fusaro outlined the proposal which initially had been
presented to the Facilities Committee a few weeks ago. He noted that the
locker room has not been updated for decades and is used by approximately
650 athletes year round.  The renovation calls for new lockers, painting,
and an interlocking rubber floor similar to the girls’ locker room.  He
noted that the Boosters have put money aside each year for capital
projects.  They have earmarked funds for the locker room renovation and
asked the Board to partner in the project with a $30,000 share. Board
President Richard Mattessich explained that the Board is beyond our budget
cycle, so the amount at which the Board can contribute must be lower this
year.  The Board intends to contribute $10,000 for each of the next two
years to partially fund other projects the Booster Club would have
supported for the Westfield Board of Education during each of those years.

Mr. Mattessich expressed appreciation for the Boosters’ understanding of
the Board’s budget timetable and commitments.  Board Vice President
Rosanne Kurstedt thanked the Boosters for helping our student athletes.
Facilities member Ginny Leiz concurred that joint projects with groups such
as the Boosters are appreciated.

The Board approved the following curriculum as aligned to Common Core
Standards:  Language Arts - English I, II, III, IV and Writers Craft.

The Board approved for second reading following curricula: Language Arts -
Intermediate English Language Arts (6-8).

NEXT BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING – will be held Tuesday, April 29, at 302
Elm Street.  We will hold the Public Hearing on the 2014-2015 budget at
that time.

Following the adjournment of the Board of Education meeting, a workshop was

On behalf of the wrestling community, Westfield parent Tom Miller presented
the Board with a proposal to build a single-use room for wrestlers funded
fully by private donations.  Mr. Miller outlined the need for the facility
initiative, particularly for the health and well-being of the student
athletes.  He explained that the current wrestling room at Westfield High
School is multi-purpose.  Wrestling is a winter sport and physical
education classes are mostly indoors in the winter.  Due to the number of
students enrolled at Westfield High School, the wrestling gym also is
utilized for physical education classes. The tracking of street shoes, bare
feet and physical education equipment on the mats – even with cleaning --
creates an environment that can cause skin disease when wrestlers come in
contact with them.  Mr. Miller also cited the growth and success of the
wrestling program in the last five years and the excellent reputation of
the sport at Westfield High School.

He cited examples of several other high schools in our conference with
single-use wrestling gyms.  Mr. Miller also explained that he has been in
meetings with Business Administrator Dana Sullivan and our architect to
discuss a suitable site for the new facility. With some options eliminated
due to cost, the one proposed by Mr. Miller is to construct a 120 x 40 foot
single story building in the back of Edison Intermediate School adjacent to
the small back parking lot.  The wrestling community would seek donations
and gift it to Board and turn the project over to the Board.  Since the
building would be managed and maintained by the school district, Mr.
Mattessich explained that an estimate of those operations costs needs to be
prepared by Ms. Sullivan.  Any potential impact on neighbors must also be
considered. A recommendation will follow from the Facilities Committee,
followed by a decision by the Board communicated publicly and to the
wrestling community.  Mr. Mattessich noted that this proposal is a very
innovative way to help the Board of Education.

Margaret Dolan, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

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