When Jane Biondi sends her 9-year-old daughter Grace to school everyday, it is to a building with no fire sprinkler or fire safety system, a seriously compromised roof and failing heating.
That’s the situation parents of students report. There, parents say, major building systems and windows need to be replaced and special education teaching spaces are inadequate.
“The children at Thompson never dress for the weather outside,” Biondi told members Monday, “they dress for the unique internal weather system in the building—where it is roasting hot in January and utterly unbearable in June.”
But by the end of Monday night, Biondi could breathe a sigh of relief. Town Meeting members unanimously approved the $20 million project to rebuild Thompson, a proposal years in the making that is scheduled to deliver Arlington a new school by fall 2013.
Once the proposal was approved, parents and children watching the vote form Town Hall’s balcony gave Town Meeting a standing ovation. Town Meeting members joined in.
“I could not be more thrilled,” said Kathleen Bodie, Arlington Public Schools superintendent, after the vote. “To have Town Meeting vote unanimously shows such a commitment from Arlington to Thompson School.”
While the project gets underway, Thompson students will be moved to and schools for the next two years. Thompson’s kitchen, which provides food for all of Arlington’s elementary schools, will be temporarily moved to the .