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Wellesley moves ahead with plan for modulars

Posted by Caitlin Castello  March 23, 2010 10:05 PM

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The Wellesley School Committee will go to Town Meeting to seek approval to move $80,000 from school accounts to the Permanent Building Committee for the design and permitting for modular classrooms for the middle school.

The School Committee voted unanimously Tuesday night to seek the funds as the enrollment for the middle school increases. Based on enrollment projections, 17 additional rooms will be needed in the middle school by September 2011. That figure includes seven classrooms, two science labs, two rooms for electives, four special education classrooms, and two offices.

How to accommodate the five other needed classrooms has yet to be determined.

The total cost for design and permitting of the modular classrooms is $245,000. As the town would potentially provide $80,000, the rest of the money would be funded by stimulus funds, said school committee member, KC Kato.

“It’s a challenge because given our structure, it’s [the middle school's] three schools within a school,” said Kato “That makes it more of a challenge to increase the utilization.”

Meetings with neighbors are expected to be scheduled for after Town Meeting.

In the fall, the School Committee voted against funding any major construction projects or the rental costs that would result by moving administrative offices out of the middle school.

The spike in enrollment is only temporary, said Kato. The modulars would provide a quick and inexpensive solution to the bump in student population.

“This looked like the most economical [option] for us. As well as the timing, it could be done quickly,” said Kato. “This is a temporary bubble; we are projecting a six-year overcapacity problem.”

Caitlin Castello can be reached at caitlincastello@gmail.com

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