Author Archive: Mayor Dolan

Proposed Improvements to Melrose High School

The proposed Learning Commons area for Melrose High School

The proposed Learning Commons area for Melrose High School

Melrose High School Learning Commons

Below is a press release prepared by my office about the next stage for Melrose High School.

Mayor Robert J. Dolan has requested authorization from the Board of Aldermen for a $5.3 million bond to fund a substantial renovation of Melrose High School.

“Melrose High School was built in 1975,” said Dolan. “That’s the same year that the first personal computer was released—you had to build it from a kit. Our students face much different challenges today than they did then, and we must give them the tools to adapt to a continually changing future. Our Building Committee has studied the requirements for a 21st century school and come up with a thoughtful plan for adapting the building to the needs of today’s students.”

“The Mayor, as a member of the School Committee and the CEO of the city, has worked closely with the school administration to identify and prioritize our needs,” said Superintendent of Schools Cyndy Taymore. “He understands the need to constantly upgrade technology and its infrastructure and the difficulty to keep pace with rapid changes that occur almost daily with technology and the information it makes available to every user. The high school resource center has been in discussion for several years. For the last year, the Melrose Public Schools Building Committee has been working on a comprehensive plan for the high school of which this is one phase. The high school was built in 1975 and reflects the learning expectations and design of that times. We need to develop a information/library media center that provides our students with the resources and technology they will be expected to use in college and beyond.”

The process began with a master plan developed by Tappe Architects. “We had them look at the template the School Building Authority uses for a modern high school, which establishes the number of square feet needed for different uses, and put together a matrix of where we have excess space and where space is lacking,” said Denise Gaffey, Director, Office of Planning and Community Development. “That helped us think about how to move the pieces around.”

The first phase of the project includes transforming the former Resource Center into a 21st century Learning Commons, as well as the construction of new technology classrooms, and a student services suite.

The Learning Commons will include

  • Blended learning space
  • Computer labs that can also serve as project rooms
  • A presentation space, with practice room, that can accommodate up to 200 people
  • A new graphics classroom
  • Collaborative spaces where small groups of students can work together
  • A quick-stop tech space where students can print something out or look something up on the computers
  • On the mezzanine floor, a new business classroom, CAD lab, new computer lab, and upgraded TV studio on the mezzanine

In addition, the Student Services departments, including Guidance, the Assistant Principals, the Athletic Director, and the Pupil-Personnel Services department will be moved to the first floor, with a new entry to that area opposite the Principal’s Office.

Upon approval of the funding by the Board of Aldermen, the designs will be finalized and the project put out to bid by September 2015. Construction will begin when the school closes for the winter holidays in December 2015 and will continue through mid-August 2016.

“Melrose High School reached a great achievement this year: The Department of Education designated it a Level One school. This is based on data collected around narrowing proficiency gaps, student growth percentiles, MCAS participation, graduation rates, and dropout rates,” Dolan said. “This new project is the latest of a number of investments and upgrades we have made to Melrose High School over the last decade to improve student learning.”

These upgrades include

  • A new Science Wing
  • New HVAC systems
  • Elimination of the Open Space
  • A new roof
  • Installation of solar panels
  • A new Marcoux Gymnasium
  • Bathroom upgrades
  • A new technology infrastructure
  • The addition of the new theater at the middle school
  • New athletic facilities
  • Security enhancements

“The projects above represent an investment of over $15 million in improvements that directly impact students and the learning environment at Melrose High School,” said Dolan. “This new $5.3 million plan builds on that foundation with the addition of a new Learning Commons that reflects the dynamic technological and educational requirements of today’s society.”

More images below!

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Churchill Little League Fund Raiser on March 13

St Patricks Day Fund Raiser

Melrose Youth Softball Sign-Ups Have Started

Here’s a welcome sign of spring: Registration has started for Melrose Youth Softball! Girls who will be in first or second grade on April 1, 2015, are eligible. The cost is $85 through March 15, $90 thereafter. All the details are here.

Play ball!

Healthy Melrose

Healthy-Melrose

We are very excited about the 7th annual Healthy Melrose Event to be held on May 2, 2015 from 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Melrose Athletic Complex, 360 Lynn Fells Parkway. This fair has proven to increase in participation year after year. Over 3000 are expected this year! We will begin the extensive marketing of this event shortly and are currently accepting applications for event vendors.

Attached you will find the vendor application and vendor criteria. PLEASE READ the vendor criteria thoroughly as it is very important to this event that we respect the integrity of the message! Healthy Melrose is about healthy sustainable living.

2015 Vendor Application

2015 Vendor Criteria

We will continue to accept applications until March 25, 2015, applications will be accepted after March 25, 2015 on a space availability basis only. Please include your check made payable to the City of Melrose and send your application and payment to Jenine Wright at 171 Tremont Street Melrose MA.
(contact: Jenine.wright@fitlifestylestudios.com 781.662.3306).

The Healthy Melrose Family Wellness & Fitness Fair Committee reserves the right to choose all vendors. Vendors must fall within the criteria set by the committee and abide by the criteria and guidelines listed. All vendors will be notified as soon as possible if their application has / has not been accepted.

We will be extending the opportunity to be an event sponsor; details will be sent out shortly.

Thank you for your commitment to a healthier future!

For more information on this event, visit the website listed below. Any questions please feel free to contact Jenine Wright at 781-858-6117.

The Healthy Melrose Team
http://www.healthymelrose.com

State of the City Address 2015

Here are the slides from my State of the City address; watch out later in the week for a video of the full speech.

Slide01

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Come to the ECC Fundraiser on Friday!

Did you know that 60% of Melrose kindergarteners get their start at the Franklin Early Childhood Center? The ECC PTO’s largest annual fundraiser is coming up at Bellevue Golf February 27, 2015. BLOOM will include appetizers, sweets, live music, and one of the best silent auctions you will see this year! Representative Paul Brodeur will be serving as the auctioneer for the LIVE auction. Doors open at 7:00. Tickets are $30/person or $50/couple at the door. You may purchase tickets ahead of time here.

The ECC PTO’s mission is to fund enrichment programs that enhance learning and organize activities that strengthen the ECC community. “Alumni” families and other members of the community are most welcome – we appreciate your support!

MAAV Parent Workshop Tomorrow

Parents: Become an MVP in your teen’s life! Join us for “The Importance of the Bystander (you!): Parents Matter in Teens’ Lives,” a free parent workshop that will be held on Wednesday, February 25 at 7pm in the second floor project room at Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School.

The workshop will feature trainers from the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program and peer leaders from Melrose High School, who will facilitate discussions with parents. The workshop will feature tips on how parents can identify and support their teens if they are concerned about an unhealthy relationship, as well as an open dialogue with MHS students and MVP trainers.

MVP’s program teaches people how to play a central role in identifying and preventing violent relationships, teen dating and domestic violence, and sexual assault. One of the hallmarks of MVP’s approach to preventing violence is recognizing the power of the bystander. MVP views all participants as potential bystanders who can be empowered to confront abusive incidents. Over the past two years, dozens of students at Melrose High School have been training with the MVP program, and many of these students will participate in this parent workshop.

No registration is required. This workshop was organized and sponsored by the Safe STEPS for Teens Project, a partnership between the Melrose Public Schools and the Melrose Alliance Against Violence. For more information about this workshop, contact MAAV at (781) 662-2010.

Special Offer on MSO Tickets

mso-650

The Melrose Symphony Orchestra has a special offer for readers of the Mayor’s blog: Use the discount code mayorsblog (case sensitive) when ordering tickets for the March 7 concert online and get 50% off the price! Here are the details:

MSO Spring Concert: “Love and Longing”
Saturday, March 7, 8:00 pm
Pre-Concert Talk, 7:15 pm
Memorial Hall, Melrose

Tickets
$30 General Admission
$11 Students

About the Concert
The Melrose Symphony presents “Love and Longing,” an entertaining and insightful evening of romantic masterworks featuring three iconic composers: Richard Wagner, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and Antonin Dvorak.

The concert opens with Wagner’s dramatic Prelude and Liebestod (literally, “love-death”) from the tumultuous love story of Tristian and Isolde. Also on the program is Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture. This piece encapsulates the thunderous and dramatic conflict between the Montagues and the Capulets,and features an achingly beautiful love theme for Romeo and Juliet.

The final piece is Dvorak’s lyrical and lush Cello Concerto featuring Nicholas Finch. Cellist Nicholas Finch is a native of Melrose, attended Melrose public schools, and now performs with some of the premier orchestras in the US, holding the position of principal cellist with the Louisville Symphony.

Pre-Concert Talk
Join conductor Yoichi Udagawa for a pre-concert talk at 7:15 pm. Maestro Udagawa will talk about the composers and their works, as well as some of the “hidden meaning” behind the music. This great evening supporting local music will surely inspire and delight all audience members!

Tickets and More Information
http://www.melrosesymphony.org/marchmasterworks/

Soloist Sponsored by the Melrose Rotary Club
Melrose Cooperative Bank, Official Bank of the Melrose Symphony

Boxing Event to Benefit Mass Fallen Heroes on February 26

Murphys Boxing Card

Murphys Boxing hosts “The Memorial Series,” another highly-anticipated night of boxing featuring up-and-coming boxers to raise money for the Claddagh Fund on behalf of Massachusetts Fallen Heroes.

The event takes place Thursday, February 26, 2015 at Melrose Memorial Hall from 7:30 – 11:30 p.m. Featured on the card is Ryan Kielczewski from Quincy (21-0) with 5 KO’s, Jonathan Guzman (17-0) from the Dominican Republic and Spike O’Sullivan who is making the trip from Ireland (18-1) with 11 KO’s. Other participants include military veteran Brandon Montella (Woburn), Greg Vendetti (Stoneham) and Aleksandra Lopes (11-3).

Established in 2010 by Boston firefighters, local veterans, Gold Star families, police officers and other patriotic citizens, Massachusetts Fallen Heroes was organized in order to memorialize our fallen by creating a permanent public tribute and to provide advocacy and support service for local veterans and families of the fallen serving the Global War on Terrorism since 2001. For more information, please visit www.massfallenheroes.org.

Where Did the Snow Go?

SnowFarm

DPW pulled off one of the biggest snow hauls in the City’s history last night! This is an early morning shot I took at the tennis courts/snow farm at Tremont Street and the Lynn Fells Parkway! The focus was corners and our business districts. The Cedar Park area will be completed on Monday.

Let’s get together as a community and support our local economy that, like all of us, has taken such a financial hit over this winter!

Let’s rally together and keep Melrose small businesses strong!

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