How Do You Think Braintree Schools Should Approach Space Needs?
Schools officials say Braintree needs more classroom space as soon as possible, not just to increase full-day kindergarten offerings, but primarily to avoid higher class sizes and provide room for projected enrollment increases.
The School Committee meets later this month to discuss and possibly vote on a solution to Braintree's space crunch.
Several options have been laid out by the school administration and by the architectural firm Habeeb & Associates, including adding 24 modular classrooms, re-opening Monatiquot and larger-scale projects.
Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg has said that the top priority for any solution is keeping class sizes down throughout the elementary level and providing space for specialists.
Full-day kindergarten would also likely benefit from the addition of more classrooms. Adding four modular classrooms to each elementary school, for example, could mean at least one FDK offering at each home school, Dr. Kurzberg said.
What approach do you think the school department should take? Tell us in the comments below.
Among the options available:
- Add 24 modular classrooms – four at each of Braintree's six elementary schools. Officials say it would be a permanent solution, accompanied later by more additions in some form. The modulars would likely be clad in brick veneer and would be of higher quality than those installed in 2001 at South and Highlands. Leasing over seven years with a $1 buyout at the end of the contract would cost the town $3.2 million, plus operating costs.
- Re-activating Eldridge, Foster and Montiquot as kindergarten centers, building additions to all six elementary schools, adding gymnasiums to Flaherty and Ross and/or constructing four new K-5 schools. Cost ranges from $65 million to $122 million, according to the Habeeb study.
- Re-open Monatiquot to create a full-day program with 180-200 students, freeing classroom space at each home and providing more seats than the current 60 offered at Braintree High School.
- Re-open Monatiquot for half-day kindergarten, shifting 360-400 students there in 10 classrooms.
Both Monatiquot options would come with $167,000 in start-up costs, according to the school department. Annual costs for the full-day alternative would amount to $882,000 and $625,000 for the half-day option.
Have an alternative solution? Share it below.