Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School District (MVRHS) is awaiting a response from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) regarding admission into its building program.

Two separate letters, one issued by MVRHS and the other issued by the City of Oak Bluffs, were sent to the MSBA in hopes of being accepted into their core program, which could provide up to 40 million dollars of subsidized public financing for a loan by the shovel. school construction project. The authority also has a wealth of knowledge and experience supporting school districts through the planning and construction process, and would be a valuable resource to the school.

The MVRHS committee has applied to the MSBA for each of the past six years seeking support to replace the 63-year-old high school. Recently, the process has been hampered by a long-standing issue among Island cities — the regional funding formula.

When Superintendent Matt D’Andrea traveled to towns across the island seeking support for a letter to send to the MSBA saying the towns would work in good faith to complete a feasibility study for a project school building, Oak Bluffs said he wants to send his own letter. In it, officials express concern that the existing funding formula for capital projects (the costs of which are split between cities) gives Oak Bluffs the end of the stick because they have a rate of higher attendance per student in high school, and therefore bears the brunt of the cost.

The current FY23 funding formula allocates 28.3% of the budget to Oak Bluffs, 26.9% to Tisbury, 23.5% to Edgartown, 14.3% to West Tisbury, 5% to Chilmark and 2% at Aquinnah.

At Monday’s MVRHS school committee meeting, D’Andrea said the sending of the two letters sent the message that the cities were somewhat divided on the formula, although Oak Bluffs conveyed the level of need. of a new school.

“I haven’t had a definitive answer from them on where we are. I think it would be great if we as a group, the school committee and the school administration could talk of how we’re going to move forward,” D’Andrea said. “Whether or not we get into the MSBA this year, we’re going to have to take action, and I think that’s going to have to start with people in this room.”

According to committee chair Amy Houghton, the school has two options: either propose an amendment to the regional agreement to provide the cities with a funding formula that would make it more acceptable to all member cities, or they continue to meet with all the communes in the hope of bringing them together and getting along.

“It’s a community that can come together as a collective, and hopefully the school committee can lead the way,” Houghton said. “If we had some kind of amendment to propose, we would put it in front of every city. Could the selection boards say they refuse to put it on the mandate? I suppose they could, but I hope not.

D’Andrea said that ultimately voters will decide whether or not they’re willing to change the formula, either for a one-time project or a permanent change.

Historically, D’Andrea said, when cities try to work together to find a formula, “people tend to get stubborn.” The school committee will have a separate meeting outside of their regular meeting time to discuss the way forward.

Lots of melodies

Representatives of the Beach Road Weekend music festival appeared before the school committee to request the use of two parking lots for the duration of the event, which runs from August 26 to August 28.

The two parking lots that are part of the application are the Performing Arts Center (PAC) lot, which contains approximately 122 parking spaces, and the sports field, which has approximately 96 spaces. MVRHS facilities manager Mike Taus said he drafted a list of conditions that protect the school and ensure the safety of anyone on the property.

Taus said that in order to reduce congestion at the entry and exit points of each lot, shuttles coming and going from the event and the high school’s satellite parking lots should enter the drop-off area located directly in front of the main Entrance. Taus added that there will be no interior access to the school building, although three porta potties (which would be cleaned daily) for each car park would be provided by festival organizers.

To prevent non-festival attendees from parking at the school, Taus suggested that festival organizers provide two or more parking attendants for each lot. Attendants would also be responsible for picking up trash at the end of the day and after the event. Taus also wants to see trestles on the back of the PAC so people can’t park in the back of the building near the gym grounds, if the request is approved by the committee.

Festival organizers will have to pay a nonprofit organization fee of around $800 ($100 per day, per lot), according to Taus, and will have to pay for any police details that are needed when the event filter on main roads.

Peter Sawyer of Innovation Arts & Entertainment, the promoter of the event, said they had no problem paying the policy details and were prepared to provide full proof of insurance to the school.

Adam Epstein, the company’s CEO, said the high school is an ideal location to house satellite pitches for Beach Road Weekend because of its central location and spacious parking lots. “Adding the optional high school grounds will make a big difference in our goal of reducing festival-related traffic and will help clear congestion at Five Corners and surrounding roads,” Epstein said.

He noted that festival organizers are taking steps to make the whole process as efficient and stress-free as possible, such as using pre-purchased parking passes, no tailgating anywhere on the school grounds and the installation of signs prohibiting the consumption of drinks in the car park. . There will be liability insurance worth $2 million naming the school and any other parties requested as additional insureds, Epstein said, and all parking proceeds from the operation will go to the nonprofit group. lucrative Friends of the Martha’s Vineyard Concert Series as a tax-deductible donation. .

School officials did not vote and will return to this discussion at their next meeting.

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