WESTFORD -- In a pair of decisions made at their meeting of Nov. 13, members of the Nashoba Valley Technical School Committee voted to authorize superintendent Judith Klimkiewicz to move forward on plans to build a new sports complex on the district's grounds.
Talk of creating more space for the school's athletes had been ongoing in preceding months spurred on by Nashoba Valley's perceived lack of playing fields as compared with those at other area high schools.
In particular, Klimkiewicz cited the school's track team which for years has had to run through parking areas and access ways as well as along Route 110. With a sports complex that will include a new track, such inconveniences are expected to be eliminated.
Nov. 13 voting by the School Committee included authorization for the superintendent to move forward with a survey of the 20 acre area behind the existing school building where the track and field complex is to be located as well as establishing the boundary between school property and adjacent St. Mary's Drive.
Klimkiewicz will proceed with the hiring of Landtech Consultants, Inc. which won a bid for the surveying project with a suggested cost of $9,400.
The price is expected to cover a scope of work that includes a general survey of the area where the complex is to be situated as well as the establishment of the locations of all wetlands, boundaries, and existing structures.
A second vote by the School Committee also authorized the superintendent to sign a contract with winning bidder Tighe & Bond for engineering services covering the design of the complex.
In its bid proposal, the firm boasted "extensive experience in the design, permitting, and construction administration of a variety of athletic field projects."
According to the company's proposal, design specifications will take into account a six lane running track, synthetic turf, a prepared practice field area, and for some time in the future, preparations for four new tennis courts.
Total cost for Tighe & Bond's services is expected to come to $49,230.
The entire estimated cost of the new sports complex has been pegged as between $1.5 and $2 million all of which is expected to be paid from within the school's budget including money raised from Ayer's joining the district as a new member and other fees.
Klimkiewicz hoped that design and permitting with the town of Westford could be completed in time for a groundbreaking for the new complex in the spring of 2013.
Another project aside from the sports complex mentioned at the Nov. 13 meeting was the creation of a new dance and art studio planned for an existing barn building on the school's property.
Cost of renovating the building is estimated as $70,000 which is also to be raised from within the district's existing budget.
Also at the Nov. 13 meeting, School Committee members were introduced to Christine Scott, the new executive director of the Merrimack Special Education Collaborative (MESC).
Acknowledging the troubled history that the collaborative has had in the past, Scott told committee members that in way of correcting the problem and insuring that it never happens again, the group is in the process of reorganizing its responsibilities including fiscal issues, transportation, and curriculum.
Late last year heads rolled at the non-profit (MSEC) after it was learned that administrators there had filched $11.5 million from the organization's state funded coffers to cover bloated salaries and other personal expenses.
Finally, committee members were informed that Shirley resident Zachary McNiff, a senior in the school's plumbing and heating program was recognized as a student of the month.