School Building Committee Seeks Community Input via Online Survey Open Through May 27
MEDFIELD — Superintendent Jeffrey Marsden and School Committee Chair Anna Mae O’Shea Brooke announce that a virtual community forum was recently held regarding the status of the Dale Street School Building Project and encourage community members to provide input on the project via a town-wide online survey.
The forum, held Tuesday, May 19, provided an overview of the status of the building project and sought feedback on key decision points. A total of 280 people attended the forum via Zoom, MedfieldTV and YouTube Live and the School Building Committee answered over 70 questions from community members.
The district is currently working on the Preferred Schematic Report phase of the Project’s Feasibility Study where several options for the future of the project are developed and evaluated before a preferred option will be selected. The key decision points at this time are:
- Preferred site: The Dale Street and Wheelock School sites meet the necessary size criteria and were not found to have any preliminary legal or community use issues.
- Preferred grade configuration: Two grade configurations, grades 3-5 and grades 4-5, are being considered for the new school. Both are evaluated based on their advantages and challenges in the areas of curriculum, instruction and staffing, and their impact on child development, future student population growth, project cost and more.
- The construction of a new school or additions/renovations to the existing Dale Street School.
These decisions will be based on further evaluation of all viable options as well as an assortment of reports, including environmental reports, traffic studies and cost estimates. The intent is to select the most educationally beneficial yet cost-effective solution for the town.
For additional information on each of these decisions and their selection criteria, see the community forum presentation.
The key decision points will be evaluated and selected over the coming months and will allow for the completion and submission of the Preferred Schematic Report, which is expected in September. Pending approval by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), the selected preferred option will be further developed in the Schematic Design phase which will establish the final Project Scope and Budget in the beginning months of 2021.
In the discussion portion of the forum, the School Building Committee answered questions from community members about several aspects of the project, including cost and funding options, timeline and plans for the current Dale Street building if the construction of a new school is selected as the preferred option.
School Building Committee Seeking Community Feedback
As a follow-up to the community forum, the School Building Committee is asking the community to provide additional feedback on the project and key decision points by completing the Dale Street School Project Community Survey. The survey can be accessed here.
The survey is open and available to complete through May 27.
Upcoming Opportunities for Public Input
Below are upcoming important meeting dates regarding the project. These are open meetings and the public is welcome to attend. Please visit the town website for agendas and virtual meeting links.
- May 27 – School Building Committee Meeting
- June 2 – Board of Selectmen Meeting
- June 4 – School Committee Meeting
- June 10 – School Building Committee Meeting
Video of live presentations can also be found here.
About the Dale Street Project
In December 2017, Dale Street School was accepted into the MSBA Core Program. In this program, MSBA partners with communities to assist in the program development and funding of new school construction or additions/renovations to an existing school.
The Dale Street School was one of 16 schools selected out of the 84 communities that submitted Statements of Interest.
The Statement of Interest for the Dale Street School stated that although the school is functional for learning, the building is approaching the end of its useful life span and needs major improvements to be aligned with standards for 21st century learning. The school is made of structures built in 1942 and 1962 with minor renovations to spaces within the building in 1997 and 2000. In its current state, the building is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and does not have the classroom space that will be necessary for projected future student enrollment.
Boston-based architectural firm Arrowstreet, Inc. was chosen to be the Designer for the project.
For more information, visit the Dale Street School Building Project website here or follow the project page on Facebook. The community forum presentation and other project materials can also be found on the project website.
Questions about the Dale Street School Project can be sent to [email protected].