The newest of Watertown’s schools was built 46 years ago, and what to do about that is a problem the School Committee will have to address.
School Committee hopefuls talked about what they would do about Watertown’s aging schools at the League of Women Voters debate.
Elizabeth Yusem said she thinks there are simply too many bodies in one classroom for teachers to support. She noted that the first steps have already been taken toward getting state money to improve town schools and said she looks forward to the process, being a licensed architect.
Dmitry Lev said he wants to make sure students have the schools and facilities needed for the new millennium. He noted that one problem at the high school is walls are too thick for wireless computer networks to function.
Andrew Swan is a teacher in Newton and said that he wants to make sure the basics work. His school recently got carts with iPads for each student in the class, but when the heat went on it was blowing cold air – making a less than ideal learning environment.
Guido Guidotti said he wondered what a private company would say if they were looking at leasing the Watertown schools, and he said it would be hard make the deal. He called them “dumps,” adding that he does not relish saying that and that he wants to fix them.
David Stokes said Watertown must be careful it is not “penny wise and pound foolish.” When schools are renovated or replaced, they need to be made not just for today, but with an eye for future.
John Portz, the only incumbent, said not only is capacity too small, but the buildings are not in the right configuration for modern education. They need smaller spaces outside the main classrooms for special programs that students will attend through the day.
The Watertown Town election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5.