To the Editor:
We write jointly to reassure you and your readers that the Nauset School Committee has maintained a systematic Capital Planning process over the past twenty years. The large questions of capacity and useful life were addressed in the major renovation and expansion projects of the late 80’s (Middle School) and late 90’s (High School), each of which required that the buildings be prepared for decades of service. When the renovations themselves began to age, the Nauset School Committee reached an agreement with our member towns to fund capital projects annually at $459,000. This program requires an annual five-year Capital Plan which does just what Cape Cod Today proposed in your September 15 editorial – anticipate when vehicles will be replaced, computers upgraded, roofs repaired, and so forth; estimate future costs; and prioritize the needs. These plans were included in each year’s annual budget; approved by the Regional School Committee after appropriate deliberation; submitted along with the budget to the member towns’ Boards of Selectmen and Finance Committees; and funded at Annual Town Meetings.
Now we have before us a project of such magnitude that it cannot be accomplished within the annual capital program, and the district is moving ahead to seek voters’ approval. It is reasonable to assume that other such needs may emerge over the coming decade, and that a more elaborate analysis of Nauset’s facilities will be necessary than has been required in the past decade-and-a-half. We trust the voters will be willing to consider the schools’ needs when the time comes to do whatever work is necessary.
Thank you for your consideration of this statement, and for the opportunity to explain to your readers the history of Nauset’s Capital Planning process.
Richard Hoffmann, Superintendent of Schools
Michael Gradone, Superintendent of Schools (retired)
Nauset School System