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School Space Options Include Modular Classrooms, Monatiquot Center

What do you think about the proposed solutions? Comment below.

Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg laid out several options for School Committee members Monday night that would address space needs by next fall.

A study presented last summer by architectural firm Habeeb & Associates Architects, Inc. determined that short-term solutions could cost Braintree between $21 million and $36 million, and long-term between $66 million and $123 million. The study did not include the options presented Monday, but rather focused on permanent additions to buildings, new schools and/or other upgrades.

Below are summaries of the newest proposals. For more on the discussion, go to http://braintree.patch.com/articles/committee-pondering-fix-for-school-space-crunch-that-may-increase-fdk-offerings.

Monatiquot Full-Day Kindergarten Center

Closed along with Foster and Eldridge several years ago, Montiquot is currently being leased in part by The Montessori School. Montessoir may seek a long-term lease at Eldridge, though, potentially freeing up space.

The school has been proposed as a kindergarten center for some time by committee member Pam Kiley, among others.

Fee-based

10 classrooms

18-20 students per session

180-200 total students

1 media center/1 special services room

No transportation offered

Annual operating costs (principal, nurse, paraeducators, water, telephone, etc.) = $476,001.21

Annual teacher costs = $406,250

Start-up expenses (furniture, equipment, security upgrades, computers, painting, etc.) = $167,000

Income

160 students at $3,000 (est.) plus 40 students at $1,500 (est. number of those receiving free and reduced price lunch) = $540,000

Monatiquot Kindergarten Center

Re-locate all half-day kindergarten to the school

10 classrooms

18-20 students per session

360-400 total students

1 media center/1 special services room

Annual operating costs (principal, paraeducators, transportation, custodians, natural gas, etc.) = $625,077.21

Start-up expenses (furniture, equipment, security upgrades, computers, painting, etc.) = $167,000

Modular Classrooms

Four classrooms at each of six elementary schools

Each modular addition would be 56 feet by 66 feet with two classrooms on either side of a corridor. Classrooms would be individually heated and air conditioned

To purchase

(Wood-framed) = $2,340,000 total cost for all 24

(Exterior brick veneer) = $2,676,000 total cost for all 24

To lease

(Wood-framed)

84 months with $1 buyout = $391,176 total cost annually

60 months with $1 buyout = $518,112 total cost annually

(Exterior brick veneer)

84 months with $1 buyout = $454,464 total cost annually *preferred by administration*

60 months with $1 buyout = $592,560 total cost annually

To operate

Natural gas, electricity, cleaning/maintenance = $69,000 total cost annually

To furnish and equip

Furniture, computers, wiring, telephones, intercoms (assumes 50 percent can come from existing equipment) = $88,800 total cost for all 24

 

What do you think about the proposed solutions? Comment below.

Laura Burton January 08, 2013 at 12:28 PM
Although not an ideal permanent fix, I like modular classrooms MUCH better than the possibility of redistricting
David Parr January 08, 2013 at 01:03 PM
Modular classrooms are a second rate solution.Braintree deserves better classrooms.
Jennifer DC January 08, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Modular classrooms are unacceptable. I did not move to Braintree to send my children to school in a trailer. I guess if the "problem" is too many families moving to town this will fix it. Children in Braintree deserve to attend schools with libraries, gymnasiums, cafeterias, playgrounds and updated facilities. Modular classrooms do not take care of the severe space issues in Braintree - that go beyond insufficient classrooms. A more comprehensive approach is needed and I am very disappointed that the superintendent supposedly called this a "permanent" solution - at least for now. I will have to find a way to register my real disappointment in this proposal.
Chet January 08, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Well said!
Kathy January 08, 2013 at 03:24 PM
I agree with Jennifer DC. Modular classrooms will only temporarily address space issues. Our schools are stuck in a state of mediocrity with students learning in environments never intended to be used as classrooms in aging school buildings. All of our elementary schools have lost some form of dedicated learning space such as a library music room or art room. Closets have been converted to learning spaces. Many of our most vulnerable students are being pulled from their classrooms to work with their specialists in hallways and in small rooms without natural light. Limiting access to full day kindergarten is a step backwards. Our children deserve better. It is well researched that aging school facilities can have a negative impact on achievement. A comprehensive long-term plan is needed. Surrounding towns have managed to build new facilities over the past 10 years. We need to look to the future. Will we need new middle school space in 5-6 years as these students who are using the modular classrooms finish elementary school?
abdul January 08, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Ask F X Messina for space since his property covers from Braintree T station to Plain st and then Granite st and then AMC Cinema etc, if he is real Braintree resident he should be able to help.
KMD January 21, 2013 at 01:33 PM
Our children are our FUTURE. Modular classrooms are temporary bandaids. They have proven track records of leaking water, rotting and being cold(the wind blows right through them). Our school system and the education that our children get are first class, just not the building spaces. Another issue that Kathy has brought up is our middle schools, right now we have space and age issues at the elementary level. We only have limited years until we will be dealing with this same issue at the middle school level and then the high school level. Children are the future, we can not afford to put a temporary bandaid on something that we will be regretting in a few years. Temporary still means temporary, so in a few years when we have an even larger elementary population and these modular rooms are worthless and rotted what are we going to do? Spend money to remove them and then spend money to rehab our schools and add on? The Town of Braintree is a very Fiscally responsible town, We have the infrastructure to support these new buildings for our children. The Town should also look into opening new schools. How about openeing a school at the old Armstrong Corp, the old braintree rehab hospital, the water dept on pond st? There are endless places and opportunities here. The time is nowBRAINTREE, we need to stand together against this so called permanent(temporary) fix.
Matt January 21, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Guys good ideas about wanting new schools but its all about money. Where is it coming from to do all this? I will tell you one thing its not going to come from the state. Patrick is to busy building train lines down to Fall River and New Bedford. When no one wants to go down there any way. Also does any one know how many students there are in Braintree?
KMD January 22, 2013 at 01:23 PM
There are a wide variety of programs both state and federal that we should be looking into. Has the town applied for grant money from the MSBA?? I agree that I do not want my child to go to school and be taught in a trailer, one that is a temporary fix that they want to "last decades". That is a temporary fix for a permanent problem. We haven't even seen the worse of this problem yet. We have overcrowding in elemtary schools now, just remember these classes will be going through the middle and high school levels in the near future. The town of Braintree is fiscally responsible. We need to find a better way than temporary mods attached at the end of hallways at our schools. Brick veneer or not, this is still temporary and will cost us a good amount of money both now and in the future. This to me is a curveball to the public eye. We need to stand together and not let this happen. Children need the best education they can get and the environment has proven to help or hurt the childrens education. Our children deserve the best today, tomorrow and for the future.

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