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What Do You Think Braintree Should Do About School Overcrowding?

Town officials are considering options for adding a school building or expanding existing facilities.

Most likely by the end of this month, officials from the Massachusetts School Building Authority will head out to Braintree schools to check out the district's options for expansion.

"The purpose would be to look at our facilities in relation to our space study and provide some guidance on options that SBA would consider partnering with us for a solution to the overcrowding," Superintendent Dr. Peter Kurzberg said earlier this month.

For some time school administrators, town officials, teachers and parents have debate what to do about the influx of students into Braintree schools over the past decade and the expected increase in the coming years.

By 2019, enrollment in Braintree's K-5 schools is expected to reach 2,672, up from 2,474 as of last November, according to the New England School Development Council. A significant portion of that growth will be at the kindergarten level – from 341 now to 372 by 2014.

In June, an architecture firm presented preliminary options to address the issue to the School Committee. What do you think you should be done about space?

Of the space study's five options (plus sub-options) the following were recommended by Habeeb & Associates for their long-term viability:

  • Re-activate and upgrade Eldridge, Foster and Monatiquot for use as kindergarten centers, plus additions to the current elementary schools
  • Additions to five of the six elementary schools and upgrades to all six buildings
  • Additions and upgrades to all six elementary schools
  • Add gymnasiums to Flaherty and Ross and upgrade all six elementary schools
  • Construct four new K-5 schools over a multi-year period – "This option will require re-districting but will result in parity among each of the districts. This option has the benefit of the least disruptions to the educational process during the construction as upgrades and additions will not be required to any of the existing schools."

Which option would you choose? Is there another way to go? Tell us below in the comments.

Kevin L September 18, 2012 at 02:12 PM
As long as the schools themselves are not completely outdated I would go for "Additions and upgrades to all six elementary schools". Otherwise building new schools seems a better option going forward.
tara September 18, 2012 at 04:19 PM
It is about time The Braintree Public Schools get upgraded and enlarged. One of the best systems in the State of Massachusetts.
kerry September 19, 2012 at 11:47 AM
If the timeline and cost of upgrades/additions is the same as for new schools, I would like to see new schools. I would also like the option to include enough space for Full Day Kindergartens in each district versus a center.

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