Attending meetings on $49 million more for a new school; purchase municipal offices; a ‘Pit-A-Palooza’; After
Rising prices at school; Pit-A-Palooza
municipal Council5:30 p.m. Monday. Wow. The revamp of the Tobin Montessori and Vassal Lane Upper Schools campus that received $250 million in credits will cost an additional $49 million, for a total of $299 million. The causes, as the city manager explains, are “enhanced durability and resiliency characteristics, latent site conditions, supply chain shortages and above-average construction escalation in the area of public tenders”. The coronavirus pandemic has increased costs by delaying the relocation of Tobin students by a year from the original start date, although the project is still expected to be completed in fall 2025. The site will include a 359 100 square feet and a basement, a parking garage for schools, a 539-seat auditorium intended to be “a city-wide resource,” Department of Social Services preschool and after-school programs, and programs start-up and total immersion specials on Autism Spectrum Disorders.
The city also plans to spend $14.5 million on the circa 1904 beaux-arts-style Cambridgeport Savings Bank Building on Central Square at 689 Massachusetts Ave., which is now owned by Unitarian Universalists, but some may be disappointed to learn that its 30,227 square feet (with basement space) is designated as future “municipal office space and all uses incidental thereto” and may not be suitable for a community center, museum or other uses that once seemed possible.
The second annual report on the progress of the cycling safety ordinance comes at an interesting time, just after a group sued to immediately stop the city from adding more bike lanes. protected as required by law and to remove any existing lanes that have taken away parking spaces. The report notes that although Year 2 implementation of the law’s call for separate bike lanes fell to 2.1 miles from Year 4.1, it included design work that will enable to Year 3 installs to upgrade to 4.2 – barring successful trial – and see the start of discussion around a Hampshire Street hallway. In another interesting timing, Councilor Quinton Zondervan is looking to geographically expand “Riverbend Park” (perhaps from Amesbury Street to Land Boulevard) for runners, cyclists and the like for one or more weekends in the summer and fall. to see its effect on circulation. It comes after some Riverside residents complained that the creation of the park by closing Memorial Drive on Saturdays (an extension of its traditional Sundays) caused extreme traffic delays on other streets.
City staff must put in place a way to notify all neighbors, not just homeowners, of the construction or demolition, Councilwoman E. Denise Simmons said, following an order from the previous week. aimed at standardizing and improving the way the city alerts residents to and obtains their input on its work. Councilman Marc McGovern has a more fun, albeit bittersweet, idea to promote: Pit-A-Palooza, a celebration from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on June 25 – with live music, performances of “Rocky Horror” songs , food and a beer garden – to mark Pit Rat Day in Harvard Square. Renovations to the plaza around an MBTA station headquarters mean there will no longer be a ‘pit’, a sunken area built in 1982 for public gatherings that ‘became the home of a group motley of young people from Cambridge and surrounding areas who, because of their choice of music and dress, were often outsiders in their own communities”. “Although we will lose the physical appearance of The Pit, this area will continue to be a welcoming place for young people to gather,” McGovern said.
The council meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom videoconference.
The best ways to teach reading
School Committee Special Education and Student Support Subcommitteefrom 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Monday. This hearing chaired by Ayesha Wilson discusses reading instruction and best practices — coming as “balanced literacy” advocate Lucy Calkins returns to phonics — as well as advanced learner support for the fall and the prioritization of policies to be updated. Watchable by Zoom videoconference.
Use of Federal Covid Funds
Finance Committeefrom 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday. This committee led by Councilmen Dennis Carlone and Patty Nolan will receive an update on federal Covid aid known as the American Rescue Plan Act. The city receives $88.1 million in total, with some $33.1 million left to distribute. The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Televised and watchable by Zoom videoconference.
New Head of Student Services
Special school committee meetingfrom 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Members are considering the appointment of an Assistant Superintendent of Student Services. Televised and watchable by Zoom videoconference.
Create a “circular” economy
Economic Development and University Relations CommitteeWednesday from 10 a.m. to noon. This committee, led by Councilor Paul Toner, is looking at the ‘Circular Cambridge’ report, which Community Development developed with the help of Dutch consultant Metabolic to create a more circular Cambridge economy – meaning reducing waste and keep money in town by buying and hiring local. The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Watchable by Zoom videoconference.
After-school and summer programs
Social Services and Veterans Affairs Committee9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Thursday. This committee, led by Councilman Marc McGovern, hears from the Department of Social Services and the Initiative’s co-directors after school hours about current after-school and summer programs and what should be developed for the future. The committee meets at City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square. Watchable by Zoom videoconference.
Decline in violence throughout the city
Safe streets, safe city meetingThursday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Speakers talk about next steps to reduce violence across the city. Watchable by Zoom videoconference.
East Cambridge Tour
East Cambridge Preservation and Development Walking TourThursday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. East Cambridge is one of the city’s oldest and most densely populated areas, with early to mid-19th century architectural styles mixed with neighborhood shopping streets, but landlords may face development pressures which can affect important buildings. Charles Sullivan and Eric Hill of the Cambridge Historical Commission will discuss the ongoing proposal to establish a Neighborhood Conservation District in the area during a free tour beginning at Timothy J. Toomey Park, Third and Roger Streets, East Cambridge .