A large crowd gathered for Westford’s annual Town Meeting on Saturday at the Abbot School.
A large crowd gathered for Westford's annual Town Meeting on Saturday at the Abbot School. (SUN/SAMANTHA ALLEN)

WESTFORD -- Town Meeting approved $4.1 million for window replacement in two local schools and $50,000 for a center fire station feasibility study during its annual session on Saturday.

Both articles carried by majority vote.

Windows at the Norman Day and Col. John Robinson elementary schools need to be replaced, officials said. Permanent Town Building Commitee Chairman Tom Mahanna said, the $4,101,750 cost estimate is a worst-case projection. The town is eligible for a 46 percent reimbursement rate through the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

Resident Rob Creegan questioned why the project will cost more than what was projected at fall Town Meeting, $2 million to $3 million. School officials said hazardous materials were found at the schools, driving up the cost.

Creegan also asked why the town should spend the money if they're considering closing schools due to lower enrollment figures recently. Superintendent of Schools Everett "Bill" Olsen closing schools is a question of "when, not if" at this time.

Voters also approved spending $50,000 to review the center fire station this time around, after rejecting a $350,000 study in the fall.

Resident Daniel Sulka made an amendment to the article, which was approved, to allow the study to look at all alternatives instead of just "recommended concepts."

The study will include a formal consideration of centralizing dispatch communications at the new station.


Fire Chief Joe Targ added though the town was considering going from a three-station to four-station model last fall, with building a new station on Boston Road, that idea has been tabled for now.

Selectmen Chairman Andrea Peraner-Sweet described the current station on Main Street as "decrepit." Targ said reconstructing or renovating the building from the 1970s would make operations "safer" for fire personnel.

Before a lunch break, resident James Geraghty Jr., was recognized for his volunteerism to the schools with the Gordon B. Seavey Appreciation Award.

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For more on Town Meeting, see Sunday's Sun.