Wentworth building supporters launch new website

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SCARBOROUGH — The committee formed to address the long-term facility needs of the Wentworth Intermediate School has launched a new website, which members hope will help make the case for rebuilding the school.

The website, www.newwentworth.com, went online last week.

“Students and staff deserve an environment that will provide for improvements in health and safety,” the committee states on the website.

The website presents arguments in support of the project, including addressing health concerns related to mold and asbestos in the current building, opportunities to provide infrastructure for modern technology in a new building, and minimize energy and maintenance costs with modern building materials and techniques.

The committee asserts that renovation is not an option, and that renovating the current building to meet the school’s needs would cost nearly double the price of building new.

Ultimately, the committee hopes to have a referendum and bond on the ballot in November. But first, its building plan must gain the approval of the School Board and the Town Council, according to School Board member John Cole, who is one of 40 members on the committee.

Committee member and School Board Chairman Chris Brownsey said the panel likely won’t come up with a fully fleshed-out construction schematic, but a conceptual plan for the school that includes a basic vision and cost estimate.

“The building committee is collecting recommendations about what the building should include,” Brownsey said. “Those will all get put together to get an idea for design and cost.”

“The next five weeks will be really busy for everybody,” Cole said. “The website is to show residents that due diligence has been done.”

In April, the council gave initial approval to demolish the school and build a new one in its place. The school board gave the same approval in November 2010.

In 2006, voters rejected a plan to demolish and rebuild Wentworth and Scarborough Middle School.

Mario Moretto can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 106 or mmoretto@theforecaster.net. Follow Mario on Twitter: @riocarmine.