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Council offers survey on Zervas plans

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Newton Highlands residents are being asked to let their village representatives know how they feel about the city’s plans to solve school overcrowding issues, including a proposal to expand Zervas Elementary School. The Newton Highlands Neighborhood Council has developed an online survey that it hopes will draw responses from 1,000 village residents, according to council chairman Steven R. Feinstein. “Our role is to advocate and be a bridge between our neighborhood and City Hall,” he said. “If we are going to advocate, we want to represent what people think, and not just what a vocal minority might be saying.” In a May 23 letter to the School Committee, the council outlined several areas of concern, including the purchase of three houses along Beacon Street to expand the school site, parking, traffic, and open play space. In response, members of the Zervas School Building Committee said they welcome input from the neighborhood as long as it fits with the concept of an expanded, 24-classroom school. Feinstein said his group is not looking to challenge the plans, but is “looking to make suggestions on how to make the proposed design better.” The survey can be found online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/NH-school-survey. Feinstein said council members are prepared to take the survey door to door to make sure each street in the neighborhood is represented. He said the council wants to have the survey’s results before a “preferred schematic” plan is presented by the Zervas School Building Committee at a meeting on June 26.

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