Lexington Public Schools are seeking the addition of 24 modular classrooms at the high school to accommodate a growing student population.
The modular units, which could cost up to $7.7 million, would be used to house high school students and students in special needs programs from the town’s two middle schools.
Funding for the additions could go before a special Town Meeting in early November and work would then begin in the summer of 2014 to install the majority of the classrooms, Patrick Goddard, Lexington’s director of public facilities told the Board of Selectmen Monday. The remaining classrooms would be installed in the summer of 2015.
Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash said additional classrooms are needed for students in intensive learning programs at the Clarke and Diamond middle schools because the number of autistic students in the district is increasing.
Goddard said five of the modular classrooms that would be added at the high school would be for students in the intensive learning program at the Clarke Middle School and another seven would be for students in the same program at Diamond Middle School.
Goddard said 12 classrooms would also be added to accommodate an increasing number of high school students. He said there were 1,842 students at the school in the year 2000, but the number was up to 2,007 students last year and expected to rise to 2,154 by Fiscal Year 2016.
Ash said the high school is already overcrowded and more classrooms are needed now.
“This project is a short-term plan until such time that there is a major renovation of the high school or a replacement and on the 10-year master facilities plan that is eight years from now,” Ash said.
Lexington Finance Director Robert Addelson said the town is looking at different ways to pay for the project, including using debt, budget surpluses, free cash and funding from the town’s stabilization fund.