Opinion: Proactive nature of bond to address Old Rochester facilities is paramount

May 7, 2024

To the editor:

As the Mattapoisett representative on the Old Rochester Regional Facilities Subcommittee for four years, with over 20 years of engineering experience, I must address a critical matter concerning our district schools and community. Our recent subcommittee meetings rigorously reviewed a bond proposal for essential repairs and maintenance of school infrastructure, particularly focusing on HVAC systems crucial for optimal learning environments.

Six exhaustive meetings, including facility tours, meticulously scrutinized every detail of the proposed improvements, emphasizing transparency and accessibility of information with a breakdown of evaluated systems available via the school committee website. The proactive nature of this bond is paramount, aiming to address aging infrastructure before costly emergencies disrupt education and strain finances.

Consider the scenario of a sudden HVAC system failure during the school year, a critical component of health and safety – the repercussions would extend far beyond mere inconvenience. Lost learning days for our students and the logistical challenges faced by parents in arranging alternative childcare options serve as stark reminders of the urgency of our proactive approach.

Regrettably, there have been instances of misinformation circulating within our community. This challenge was further compounded by a lack of representation at the recent Mattapoisett Select Board meeting, as I was not invited to attend to discuss this matter. Open communication and collaboration are vital in matters that impact our community, and it is disheartening to witness a lack of inclusion in such discussions. As your representative, I am committed to providing truthful, accurate information and welcome any concerns or questions directly.

Frances-Feliz Kearns
Old Rochester Regional School Committee