By John Anderson
At Wednesday’s School Committee Meeting, Jeffrey Lourie submitted his resignation effective September 1st. When Lourie became the Uxbridge Police Chief last year, he made it very clear he intended to move to that community. While many Auburn residents, including myself, hoped it would be years away, reality has sunk in.
Lourie’s current home in Auburn has been sold, and he will be breaking ground on a new house in Uxbridge in August. While he and his family expect to live in town until the end of this year, the new experience of building a house along with a very demanding job are affecting his available time. The Chief came into the meeting with only minutes to spare and was still wearing his uniform. He said it was the first school committee meeting he has attended without wearing a suit.
Jeff Lourie’s contributions to the Auburn School Committee, including 2 years as chairman, are countless. He is an intelligent, articulate gentleman, and the qualities that made him a good elected official, police officer and detective will certainly continue to enhance his law enforcement career. The School Committee reluctantly accepted his letter of resignation.
In other news, Mr. Howard Barber attended his first meeting as the district’s new Business Manager. He has jumped right into Auburn’s system without missing a beat. Also, Superintendent Maryellen Brunelle gave an update to the Accelerated Repair Program.
Three projects have been accepted by the Massachusetts School Building Authority – a new roof at Bryn Mawr School, a new roof at 10 Swanson Rd. (the current middle school), and a new boiler at 10 Swanson Rd. The projected costs of these repairs total $1.8 million, and the state will pick up nearly 50% of the bill. To move forward, the town must fund an Owner’s Project Manager and Schematic Design which will cost about $55,000.
Without a town meeting in the 60-day timeframe, Superintendent Brunelle put together a funding package using building rental and school choice accounts. While school choice income is regularly used for budget offsets, the increased number of students for this fall provided some extra money. Spending $55,000 to potentially save over $800,000 is a “no-brainer” according to Vice-Chairperson Wayne Page. Chairperson George Scobie wanted to assure anyone watching this meeting that these funds will not hurt any educational programs in the school system.