MINUTES OF THE HINGHAM SCHOOL COMMITTEE

November 28, 2012

Regular Session

The meeting was called to order by Caryl Falvey at 7:33 p.m. in the Central North and South Hearing Rooms at the Town Hall.

Members Present:    Caryl Falvey, Ray Estes, Carol M. Falvey, Andy Shafter, Edward Schreier, Dennis Friedman, and Paul Gannon

Central Office Present:    Dot Galo, Ellen Keane, Elizabeth Flynn, John Ferris

Visitors Present:    Alec Porter, Dennis Kelly, Warren Pelissier, Becky Hlidek, Christine Falvey, Tom Pyles, Tom Freda, Matt Moore, Rick Schuhwerk, Mary Power, Christine Wille, Eric Roise, Michelle Millerd, Mike MacDonald, John Thomas, Randy Hesselman, David Bailey, Ryan Puntiri, John Todd, Beth Rockoff, Maryellen Dever of the Hingham Journal.

Communications.

Andy Shafter and Ed Schreier made statements regarding the Thanksgiving game ribbon cutting ceremony for the new track and suggested a process to be followed in the future.

New Business.

The Committee heard a presentation by Veterans’ Agent Keith Jermyn, including restoration of GAR Hall, 125th anniversary of the Hall, a partnership between Veterans groups and the HHS history department, and annual spring visit of HHS students to GAR Hall to hear from local veterans.  Veterans’ representatives shared excerpts from students’ thank you notes.  Keith thanked Dot Galo, School Committee and the history staff.  Caryl thanked Keith and the Veterans.

The Committee heard a presentation by the sound consultant for the Hingham High School Fields Project.  Matt Moore presented on the following:  sound study conducted before and during the football game November 3rd, proposed Option A – medium sized directional loudspeakers Type 1A facing the turf, away from the Downing Street neighbors, and a smaller Type 2 loudspeakers used for Grandstand coverage; Option B – large directional loudspeakers, Type 1B facing the turf in addition to Type 2 loudspeakers in the same locations as Option A. He recommended Option B.  He reviewed Table 1– Estimated Sound Levels from the New Sound System– 10-12% dBA reduction; Table 2 – Existing PA System Sound Levels Versus New PA System Sound Levels – Option A; Table 3 – Existing PA System Sound Levels Versus New PA System Sound Levels – Option B.  Better intelligibility and fidelity with Option B Sound System and governors which control the level of sound, can be installed.  Caryl thanked Matt for his report.  School Committee asked questions and made comments regarding North, South, East and West sound levels, difference between 1- dBA, small loud speakers on visitor side, height of speakers on poles at 40, lower speakers mean higher impact on sound.

The Committee heard a recommendation from the Policy Subcommittee on the components of a “usage policy” for the proposed Hingham High School multi-purpose field.  Carol M. Falvey reviewed the Policy Subcommittee recommendations for adopting conditions or components of what would become policy on a section by section basis to allow for discussion and votes.

Usage times for the multi-purpose field.  The Policy Committee endorsed the recommendation of Ad Hoc with one modification and that was to maintain the current practice of using the field for 1st period HS gym classes and infrequent early team practices; but to limit game starts that might have attendant noise to 9:00 a.m. on Monday through Friday.  Ad Hoc’s recommendation focused on the game start times and not on other educational uses.  The recommendation was read into the record:

Monday – Thursday: Usage begins at 7:30 a.m., games not to begin before 9:00 a.m. Usage ends at 8:30 p.m.
Friday: Usage begins at 7:30 a.m., games not to begin before 9:00 a.m. Usage ends at 10:00 p.m.
Saturday: Usage begins at 7:30 a.m., games not to begin before 8:00 a.m. Usage ends at 9:00 p.m.
Sunday: Usage begins at noon with the exception of the fall months: 11:30 a.m. in September and October and 11:00 a.m. in November. Usage ends at 5:00 p.m.

Audience members asked questions:  Hingham Youth Football would prefer two game dates in the fall ending at 9:30.  School Committee asked questions and made comments:  Sunday usage starts at 11:00 a.m.; Hingham Youth Football game start vs. pre-game activities.

Andy Shafter made a motion to modify the recommendation so as to reflect the actual Sunday usage times as follows:

Sunday: Games to begin at noon with the exception of the fall months: 11:30 a.m. in September and October and 11:00 a.m. in November.  Morning usage to begin one hour before game time.  Usage ends at 5:00 p.m.

It was seconded by Dennis Friedman.

Ray Estes made a motion to amend, seconded by Dennis Friedman, to extend the time from 9:00 to 9:30 p.m. for two Saturday games.  There was discussion.  The amendment garnered five no votes and two yes votes.  The motion was denied.

A vote on Andy Shafter’s motion was then taken.

It was
Voted:    To approve the recommendation of the Policy Subcommittee as amended to reflect Sunday usage times.

Lights.  The Policy Committee endorsed the recommendation of Ad Hoc with one modification and that was to allow lights to remain on for 15 minutes after the conclusion of a game that began in a timely manner but was delayed beyond the “lights out” time because of an injury, multiple overtimes or equipment problems.  It was viewed as a safety issue to allow a safe egress from the field.  Athletic Department has been requested to keep track of the number of instances this exception may occur for future consideration.  The recommendation before the Committee was read into the record:

Monday – Thursday lights off at 8:30 p.m.
Friday- lights off at 10:00 p.m.
Saturday- lights off at 9:00 p.m.
Sunday- lights off at 5:00 p.m.

In all cases for games that began as posted, the lights will stay on for 15 minutes after the conclusion of the game.

On a motion by Dennis Friedman and seconded by Ed Schreier,

It was
Voted:     To approve the Subcommittee recommendation.

Amplified Sound.   The Policy Committee endorsed the recommendation of Ad Hoc.  Clarification was made that this recommendation applies to a sound system that is contemplated to be installed in the press box and not to hand held mics. The recommendation before the Committee was read into the record:

Monday-Thursday: amplified sound will be available for a maximum of two weekday nights until 7:30 p.m. Days to be determined by the Athletic Director based on scheduling and equity decisions.  This restriction will be waived to accommodate MIAA (or other governing body) tournament games, and the usage of the sound system will be consistent with the governing body’s protocols.
Friday: amplified sound available until 10:00 p.m.
Saturday: amplified sound available until 8:00 p.m.
Sunday: amplified sound available until 5:00 p.m.

On a motion by Dennis Friedman and seconded by Ed Schreier, the recommendation of the Policy Subcommittee was made. There was discussion.

Ray Estes made a motion to amend the main motion to extend the sound on two Saturdays to 9:00 p.m., Dennis Friedman seconded it and there was discussion about sound use consistent with light use as voted previously. Tim Shoyer, Chair of Ad Hoc was asked if his Committee was aware of the inconsistency and he indicated the Saturday sound use time was the result of a compromise.  The amendment garnered six no votes and one yes vote.  The motion was denied.  A vote was then taken on the main motion.

It was
Voted:      To approve the Subcommittee recommendation.

Summer Use.  The Ad Hoc Committee provided no guidance on use of the MFP during the summer months.  After discussion among the subcommittee and with input from audience members attending its Policy Subcommittee meeting, the following recommendation was read into the record:

Use of the MPF outside of the school year will be permitted Monday-Saturday until 8:30 p.m. with no scheduled usage on Sunday.  No amplified sound will be allowed.  Lights will be available, if necessary, until 8:30 p.m.

On a motion by Dennis Friedman and seconded by Andy Shafter,

It was
Voted:     To approve the Subcommittee recommendation

Priority of Use.  The subcommittee felt it would be instructive to make a recommendation on priority of use for the MPF.  Input was received from the audience members attending its Policy Subcommittee meeting. The following recommendation was read into the record

1.    Hingham Public Schools
2.    Hingham Youth Groups (including those Hingham Youth teams that include children from a nearby town     that doesn’t have a comparable program)
3.    Hingham Organizations (youth and/or adults)
4.    Other groups if there is remaining availability

On a motion by Dennis Friedman and seconded by Andy Shafter,

It was
Voted:      To approve the Subcommittee recommendation

Look Back Review.  The subcommittee, echoing a theme raised during the Ad Hoc meetings that usage policies should be adaptable, endorsed the following recommendation which was read into the record:

Once the MFP has been put into service, there will be an annual review conducted by the School Committee of the usage policies and its impacts on the users, neighbors and community for each of the first two years of operation and thereafter every three years.  The objective is to better tune the policies to meet the needs of the various groups.

On a motion by Dennis Friedman and seconded by Andy Shafter, and as amended by Ray Estes to provide for a more frequent review after year 2,

It was
Voted:     Once the MPF has been put into service, there will be an annual review conducted by the School     Committee of the usage policies and its impacts on the users, neighbors and community for each     of the first two years of operation and thereafter at least every three years.  The objective is to better tune     the policies to meet the needs of the various groups.

Ray Estes commented for the record that his suggestions for his amended motions were reasonable, limited in scope and applicable to all users.

John Thomas distributed photographs and spoke to HS field parking issues on Thanksgiving and the need for Police detail and need to change signage.  He cited the top three causes for neighborhood parking issues: dance recitals, Town Meeting and large HS events.  Caryl thanked Mr. Thomas for his comments.

The Committee discussed the Fields Project draft budget and considered options for “value engineering.”  Eric Roise reviewed the 11/28/12 cost estimate –HHS Athletic Fields Improvements and highlighted adjustments from the last cost estimate on 10/30/12.  Cost estimate does not currently include Option B sound recommendation.  He reviewed possible value engineering; dug out vs. benches, field logo, scoreboard size, foul poles, fencing, columns (audience: need for foul poles).  School Committee asked questions and made comments:  dug out structure, no junior varsity scoreboards, logo as alternate, eliminate water cannon, scoreboard options.  John Ferris reported on plumbing variance meeting.  They approved 17 women’s and 9 men’s toilet fixtures.

Caryl Falvey reviewed dates for upcoming permitting meeting with the Planning Board on December 3rd.

John provided an update on the status of the project budgets (Phase I complete and under budget; Phase II still in progress), and field design.  Caryl thanked John for oversight of projects.

Caryl, Ray, Andy and Paul provided updates on various grant opportunities that they had researched for applicability.

The Committee received information regarding an overnight field trip of the High School Model UN Club to Sheraton Boston & Boston University January 31-February 3, 2013.

Dot noted letters from Department of Health for HMS and HHS to participate in the 2013 MA Youth Health Survey and letter from DESE for HHS to participate in MA Youth Risk Behavior Survey.  Dot noted list of mandates.  Andy asked Dot to request to opt out citing loss of instructional time.

School Building Committee.

Ray – $7,000 of change orders – going well.

Subcommittee Reports.

Long Range Planning:  Andy thanked Dot, John and principals for Walk Around.  He noted a meeting December 14 at 8:00 a.m. to develop capital list and review Walk Around.

On a motion by Ed Schreier and seconded by Ray Estes,

It was
Voted:    To adjourn the School Committee meeting at 10:25 p.m.

Carol M. Falvey
Secretary
/ns