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Following an idea

Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:

Dateline Orange: It’s quite interesting, at times, to watch how one idea gives birth to so much more. The idea of consolidating three elementary schools into one new building has prompted some people in town to start thinking even farther down the road — at all of the town-owned buildings. While no one is suggesting that all of the buildings be leveled and the town start from scratch, it does make sense to examine the town and its building needs as a whole. As Town Administrator Diana Schindler said, “we need to look at what we need both now and in the future and what we’ve got in terms of buildings and properties … and how much it costs to maintain them.” We can imagine in some cases, it makes sense to build new while in others renovation and retrofitting makes more sense. No matter how the school consolidation idea moves along, this is another important conversation for the community to continue to have.

Dateline Conway: In times of tight budgets and concerns with the ability to raise money, the town got some good news regarding finding a financial way to improve the Conway Community Swimming Pool. The state Attorney General’s Office has said that the town can use money from the M&M Germain Trust fund for work on the facility. The fund has in the past provided money to help children with handicaps pay for rehabilitation and for college scholarships. The AG ruled that the money can also be used in creating greater access for people with disabilities who want to use the pool. That work would be incorporated into the renovations necessary to reopen the swimming area. Now it’s up to Conway residents to decide — at the March 18 special town meeting — if this is a project they’re willing to see undertaken at this time.

Dateline Orange: A round of applause to Mahar High School senior Sabrina Silva, who recently won the shot put title at the MIAA All-State Track Championship in Boston. The thing to know about the all-state title is that her competition came from all of the high school divisions. It’s an impressive feat and it’s another jewel in the crown for this athlete. Congratulations.

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