Study finds Canton schools running out of space

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The following is an excerpt from a story that appears in the March 19 edition of the Canton Citizen.

A two-year study on projected school population trends and current building capacities suggests that the Canton Public Schools will need more space — and likely need it soon — in order to accommodate future enrollment gains.

rodman1According to the School Building Study Committee (SBSC), which presented its preliminary findings to the School Committee last week, the Canton schools have been gaining 30 to 45 students per year — the equivalent of two classrooms — with the biggest growth occurring at the middle and high schools. The study also found that the three elementary schools and the Galvin Middle School are near or at building capacity.

The SBSC, established at annual town meeting and headed by School Committee member John Bonnanzio, suggested one short-term fix, which would open up more space at the middle school, as well as a possible moderate-term solution involving the Rodman administration building that would hinge on the successful redevelopment of the Plymouth Rubber site on Revere Street.

As detailed by Bonnanzio and fellow SBSC member Dr. Jon Arata (former FinCom member and town moderator) at Thursday night’s meeting, the Rodman plan would be entirely predicated on town meeting voters accepting the Plymouth Rubber project — which calls for a mix of residential and commercial uses — and the town authorizing the School Department to move its administrative offices to the former copper rolling mill on the site.

Canton Holdings LLC, owners of the Plymouth Rubber property, have agreed to fully renovate the historic structure and then donate it to the town along with 2.2 acres of surrounding open space. The developer is also willing to offer $2 million to the School Department for capital improvements, which Bonnanzio suggested could be used to repurpose the Rodman’s first floor offices into 10 classrooms.

Under this scenario, the SBSC has identified three possible options for the classroom space. One would be to move the eighth graders to the Rodman and move all fifth graders to the Galvin. Another would be to move all kindergarteners to the Rodman, thus opening up space at all three elementary schools. The third option would be to lease the first floor of the Rodman to education collaboratives and use the revenue to help finance additional modular classrooms …

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avatar Posted by on Mar 19 2015. Filed under News, Schools. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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