Update on Classroom Space

Principal’s Forum
Thursday, February 6, 2014
8:00 am – Library

 Update on Classroom Space

Possible New Construction Option

The construction of four modular classrooms at Lawrence remains officially on hold. The Capital Subcommittee of the Brookline School Committee is now considering the possibility of so-called “stick construction.”  This plan would follow the same location and basic configuration as the modular project, but would be built entirely on site from the ground up. Superintendent Bill Lupini is consulting with the town administration to determine if the additional funding necessary for this approach can be made available.  If approved, the project would then go out to bid. No matter what happens, the additional classrooms will not be ready for next year.

What About Next Year?

So where does this leave Lawrence for next year?  We are already short one classroom this year.  We addressed this shortage by having two Comprehensive Learning Center (CLC) programs share the old music room.  That was intended to be one-year plan. With the addition of another fifth grade next year, we will need a second new classroom next year.

We have begun working with the Building Department and an architect to identify possible spaces in the school to create additional classroom space on a temporary basis.  We are considering relocating walls between existing rooms and creating slightly smaller classrooms.   For example, we could knock down the walls between two classrooms and a smaller learning center and reconfigure the walls to create 3 classrooms.   We would then build a learning center space elsewhere in the school.  It appears we may be able to create at least two classrooms in this way.

We are exploring this less-than-optimal option rather than have to move two classes out of Lawrence on a temporary basis.  Once the new construction is complete, we could return some rooms to full-size and use some of the newly created smaller spaces to address overcrowding of specialists.  I want to emphasize that these interior changes are intended to be temporary and to buy time until new construction can be completed.

Old Lincoln School Options

Last weekend, Superintendent Bill Lupini sent you information about his recommendation that Old Lincoln School (OLS) be used for three years (beginning in September 2015) to house grades 6-8 from Devotion and one other school.  One of the options for the other school is Lawrence.  The School Committee will be voting on the options for OLS in the coming weeks.  A public hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, February 6 at 6:00 pm.

Lawrence parents are encouraged to stay informed and involved as decisions about new construction, reconfiguring interior space and OLS are being made.  If you would like more information or have questions, I invite you to attend the next Principal’s Forum on Thursday, February 6.

Rick Rogers

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