Barry offers updates on sewers, building projects and searches

SOUTHWICK – Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional Schools Superintendent John Barry updated the school committee last night on several key issues.
First, Barry said e received official confirmation from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) that leftover funds from the Southwick campus renovation project could be used to connect to the sewer system.
“We have it in writing,” he told the committee. “There will be ongoing discussions and we need to have a similar document from bond counsel.”
Barry said the Building Committee met this week and are moving along with the project close-out. The sewer issue was a concern for the committee, he said.
“We didn’t want use of the funds to delay the close-out, and there is a way to do this,” he said.
Barry also offered an update on the search for a new curriculum director to replace retiring director Maureen Wilson.
“We identified semi-finalists and will interview six people then recommend finalists for you to meet,” he told the regional school committee.
Barry said he was not sure they would be able to wrap up the finalists and schedule them for the March 8 meeting, but was hopeful it would be March 8 or 22.
Barry’s last update was on the search to replace him when he retires at the end of this school year.
“The deadline for applications has passed and the preliminary sense is that it’s a decent pool of applicants,” he said.
Also last night, Business Manager Stephen Presnal told the committee he was still researching the district’s options for a new insurance group, including one that would cost slightly less than the current group and offer almost mirrored benefits.
Presnal also told the committee the budget draft was nearly complete, with just one number to plug-in. He said the governor’s first budget included only a very small increase to Chapter 70 funds.

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