FRAMINGHAM – Framingham Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay is suggesting to forgo the lease with the Perini Corporation for administration space to help reduce the school budget, as revenues are down due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The lease was about $500,000 a year. The current lease ends on June 30. There was a proposal for a new 3-year lease at about $500,000. The City Council was set to vote on it in June.
“Responsible thing to do, but not a reasonable thing to do,” said Tremblay.
All staff currently at Perini presently will work remotely, explained Tremblay in his presentation to the School Committee tonight. Tremblay’s office is at the Perini Building, but he has been working remotely since the pandemic began.
This “outside box thinking will get us close to our budget,” said Tremblay.
The School Committee is discussing the proposal tonight, May 27.
“I am confident this will work,” said Tremblay.
The CDC recommendations suggested for everyone to tele-work as much as they can, added Tremblay.
I will have a plan with specifics soon, said Tremblay.
The Superintendent also presented a budget cut of $220,000 to the School Committee by not hiring two administrative positions that are currently open.
The project with MassBay is still moving forward. the Farley building may be a viable option for administration space, said Tremblay tonight, May 27.
“What happens if the plan does not work in four-five months? What are our options?” asked District 1 School Committee member Beverly Hugo.
Tremblay said he is confident he can make this work for the schools. But that he is not even sure schools will re-open in August, at this point.
The 9-member elected Framingham School Committee voted unanimously to support the rejection of the Perini lease tonight, May 27.
The motion was “to accept the Superintendent’s three recommendations to first, have Central Office staff continue working remotely, not accepting the Central Office RFP response in order to avoid the need to enter into a new lease for $512,500, second, to further reduce the Central Office personnel budget by $220,000, and third, to reduce the use of paper and copiers by $100,000 for a total reduction of $832,500. This results in a new FY21 operating budget level of $140,949,434. Framingham Public Schools and the Framingham School Committee offer this insight to the City Council collaboratively as they continue to deliberate on the FY21 budget for the Framingham Public Schools.”
District 6 School Committee member Geoffrey Epstein made the motion, and District 3 School Committee member Scott Wadland seconded the motion. Roll call vote was 9-0.
Mayor Yvonne Spicer was not at the remote meeting.
This is a developing report and SOURCE will be updating