AUBURN – Planners of an addition to Lake Street School will invite representatives of the school’s neighbors to join them in the effort.

School Committee Chairwoman Kathy Constantine said Thursday a request from neighbors to be included in the process was embraced by committee members when they met Wednesday to review concerns raised at an informational session Tuesday night.

They’ll join the building panel when it meets May 8, Constantine said. That’s also when the school building panel will take up other issues raised during the Tuesday night session. People who live near the school listed 10 items they want the building group to address. The list was topped by better communication about the project.

Constantine said including neighbors on the panel, which already includes school teachers and parents of Lake Street students, should help in getting plans explained to others who have a stake in the project.

Besides communication, neighbors asked the building committee to try to maximize use of land available for the school’s expansion and to reduce, when possible, changes that would be visible in their backyards. Plans for parking, bus exits and playground space also drew questions at the Tuesday night meeting.

Constantine said School Committee members meeting Wednesday agreed to respond to points raised by Lake Street neighbors. Including some neighbors on the building panel is a way of demonstrating that response, she said.

The building group had decided to delay a straw vote on the Lake Street expansion until members could respond to some of the neighbors’ concerns. Constantine said the May 8 session may be held in a larger school facility in order to accommodate more people.

Tuesday night, more than three dozen people crowded into the Lake Street School’s tiny meeting space to hear about the plans.

Progress also was made Wednesday on the committee’s State of the Schools effort. Constantine likens that to a report card offering an overview and a look at individual schools. The report is required under provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind program.

It will include historical information along with current data and statistics, Constantine said, and put the information in a comparative context.

The committee is seeking a way to distribute the report once it’s ready, she added.



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