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Jeanne Craigie Takes the Lead on School Building Committee

The veteran School Committee member is now on point for the proposed Stoneham Middle School building project.

The proposed Middle School project appears to have a new point person as Stoneham School Committee member Jeanne Craigie was tabbed chairperson of the Stoneham School Building Committee at its last meeting earlier this month.

Craigie takes the reins from Peter D’Angelo, who also served on the Finance and Advisory Board for 25 years before stepping down from that post in 2004.

“(Peter) resigned due to personal reasons,” Craigie said. “I learned a great deal from him, and consider him a mentor and a friend.”

Holding a spot on the School Committee from 1989-2002 and again from 2009 to the present, Craigie hopes to use her past experience guiding previous construction projects such as those at in 2000 and the in 2001 when she leads the board’s current initiative: the project.

So far, the board has (Joslin, Lesser & Associates, Inc. of Watertown) and an architectural manager (Tappé Associates of Boston) to help guide the project towards a finalized plan and has gained eligibility for financial assistance on the project from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).

Replacing or renovating the current Middle School, which was first constructed in the 1950s, remains as a significant fiscal issue while the town of Stoneham grips with short-term budgetary hardships for the fiscal 2012, but Craigie believes that the importance of the project will help make sure that construction will commence sometime in the near future, particularly due to the help of the MSBA.

“I think the community has long recognized the need to build a new middle school, it has been a long standing priority for the past 10 years,” Craigie said. “And since the MSBA has also accepted our needs, we now have the responsibility to find the best site and build the best school we can within the means of this community.”

While numerous hurdles still remain with the project, including the next step of finishing traffic surveys at the proposed new Middle School sites, Craigie said that the Building Committee is up to the challenge.

“We have a very talented group of community members serving on the committee,” Craigie said. “It’s a wonderful cross-section of men and women who will do their best for Stoneham and its children.”

Currently, a finalized Middle School proposal is tentatively planned to come before the voters sometime this fall.

The School Building Committee’s next scheduled meeting is slated for April 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Superintendent’s Conference Room at .

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