Rowe Elementary School's plans to rebuild charge ahead - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Rowe Elementary School's plans to rebuild charge ahead

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On Wednesday, the town of Rowe voted in favor of spending $250,000 in an effort to replace the Rowe Elementary School, which had been severely damaged by a fire last August.   

"Basically, that money will be spent to hire a project manager, and an architect to do the preliminary design plans," said Susie Zavotka, chairwoman of Rowe's school building committee.

On Friday, only two days after the vote, Zavotka said they're wasting no time and have already begun to move ahead.  

"We hope to have that project manager hired by around the first of March, and we're in the process, soon, of advertising for architects for the project. So, we're on a fast track," Zavotka said.

The school planning board wants to get the school rebuilt by September 2014, but Zavotka told CBS 3 that some people at this week's town meeting had concerns about the timing of this new construction.

"I think some people were more concerned about the quickness that we're doing this and were unsure about what should be done," said Zavotka.

However, in the end, Michael Buoniconti, the superintendent of the Mohawk Trail Regional School District, knows how important this school is to this small town and the small number of students who go there. Therefore, the sooner the school is constructed the better.

"In a rural regional district like this, a local school is more than just what people perceive as a local school as they would in a suburban type of an area. In many ways, the local elementary school is the heart of the town. It's a much more emotional and bigger picture-type of a decision than simply rebuilding a local school," Buoniconti said.

Rowe town officials plan to bring the plans and assessments before the town later this spring.

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