School Building Committee (Article 6) approved at Feb. Special Town Meeting

Milton Town Meeting Update
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by Timika Downes.

School Building Committee approved at Feb. Special Town Meeting

Town Meeting members voted this past week to approve the formation of a 9 member School Building Committee. The new committee will be appointed by the Town moderator, and will include 9 members total.

The School Building Committee will be tasked with “…planning the construction, alteration, renovation, remodeling and furnishing of school buildings”.

During the presentation of Article 6, attention was paid to the outpaced population growth, the possible short and long term solutions to overcrowding, and to considerations around debt burden and cost.

Why Are We Short On Space?

As the student body continues to outgrow population projections, Milton is faced with a shortage in school building space. Since the completion of the school renovations in 2008, school enrollments increased by 500 students to approximately 4,300 students.

Total enrollments are expected to increase an additional 500 students over the next decade. Many of these students are concentrated at the elementary level. In effect, at the end of the 20 year period, Milton Public Schools will see a 34% increase over and above the capacity of the current schools.

Increased retention rates, decreased parochial and private school attendance, and an increase in families with children moving into Town (as elderly individuals move out) account for the changing demographics .

Both demand and retention in MPS is up, but this increased demand has exposed a need for an additional 24 classrooms throughout the Town.

Available Options:

The Town was presented with both short term and long term potential options to rectify the classroom space shortage. Short term options ranged from “converting” current spaces to classrooms (less than $20,000), to renting external modular classrooms ($1.8 – $2.4 Million).

Long Term options are noted in the chart below:

Location

Cost

Glover – One Story Addition – 11 classes

$7.5 – $8.8 M

Glover – Two Story Addition – 18 classes

$14.2 – $15.8 M

Early Ed Center – site TBD – 26 classes

$34.1 – $37.6 M

Early Ed Center – High School Site – 26 classes

$28.6 – $31.6 M

5th Grade Addition – Pierce – 18 classes

$21.6 – $24.0 M

New K – 5 – School Site TBD – 26 classes

$45.6 – $50.3 M

It is noteworthy to point out that “early education center” and “new elementary school” are the only options that net the Town the 26 classrooms that are needed in the next 10 years.

Interest runs high as the Town now awaits the appointment and findings reports of individual members of the new School Building Committee.

View the February 2018 Warrant.

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