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.

This year, the full-day program includes classrooms at Flaherty, Hollis and Morrison, as well as 60 seats at Braintree High School.

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.

Jennifer DC January 17, 2013 at 09:13 PM
I wholeheartedly agree that the comprehensive long-range approach would be the best and would be willing to advocate for even an override if necessary.
kerry January 18, 2013 at 02:08 AM
I support the 24 additions to the current schools for next year and then open Eldridge, Foster and Monatiquot to support universal full day kindergarten thereby negating the lottery as well as re-establishing dedicated rooms for art, music or other needs in the elementary schools.
Matt January 18, 2013 at 03:19 AM
KMD The water dept building on pond street is falling apart and needs to be fixed up. The problem is over the years the town just let places like this fall apart. And its going to cost money to do this.
KMD January 18, 2013 at 12:30 PM
That is a shame because we will end up paying more to fix these buildings down the road. Another idea that might work is how about we take one of the closed schools and renovate it inside and out while putting an addition on. We could have this work done before the school year starts. This would have to be comparable to the price of 24 modular classrooms?? This would open up enough room for now until we could put together a long term plan for our children. I think this is a better temporary fix that helps us in the long term. Rather than ttemporary modular classrooms. I'd rather build permanent additions to our schools. Our children are the future.
Braintree resident January 24, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Braintree has known for years that space in the schools are a problem. Why haven't they fixed this yet?


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