9th Elementary School at Baldwin Project Overview

With the final selection of the Baldwin School site as the location of Brookline's 9th elementary school, the project entered the Feasibility Phase in November 2016. Between December 2016 and May 2017, the Building Committee for the 9th Elementary School at Baldwin worked with Jonathan Levi Architects (JLA) to more deeply analyze site specific considerations including the size, configuration and location of the school, improvements to the Soule Recreation Center as well as traffic, access, landscape design and geotechnical considerations. Working with the School Committee, the School Department, the Building Department, and numerous town commissions and departments including Parks and Open Space, the Building Commission, the Recreation Department, and the Transportation Board JLA developed design alternatives and preliminary costs for the project. The Building Committee selected Design Option D as the preferred design alternative.

 
The preferred design allows for a PK-8 elementary school with three classrooms at each grade and would serve approximately 650 students including a district-wide special education program and a district-wide language support program for English language learners.The school is organized into three grade span clusters (PK-2, 3-5, and 6-8) that are connected by two “learning commons” which serve as the central forum or “town square” of the school. In addition to modern classrooms, the school would have performing arts spaces, a library/media center, and collaboration spaces where students across classes and grades can work together. The school will have three gymnasiums; two for school use and one dedicated for use by the Parks and Recreation Department. Upgrades and improvements to the Soule Recreation Center include the new gym, a new environmental education classroom, an expanded turf soccer field, walking paths, and an enlarged parking lot. In addition accessibility to entire recreation facility would be upgraded to allow handicapped accessibility to the gym, environmental education center, walking paths, and fields.
 
To see a short video of the initial design including interior spaces, please click here.
 
On May 23, 2017, Town Meeting voted 182 to 31 in favor of a motion to appropriate $1.5 million to continue work on developing a preferred design for the 9th Elementary School. Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Neil Wishinsky and School Committee Chair David Pollak made a strong case in favor of moving the project forward. While this is a positive step, these funds cannot be expended and the Schematic Design Phase cannot begin until the Board of Selectmen, the School Committee, and the town’s Advisory Committee receive additional legal guidance related to open space regulations and the Smith v. Westfield court case that is pending before the state’s Supreme Judicial Court, and another Town Meeting vote releases the funds. The vote does allow $100,000 to be spent to complete the Feasibility Study and do further design work. In addition, the Parks and Recreation Department has hired a landscape architect to do a peer review of the landscape design created by JLA. to read Mr. Wishinky’s remarks, please click here.
 
The members of the 9th School Building Committee represent a broad range of constituencies and experiences, including parents, community members who live near the Baldwin School site, elected officials, and Town and School Department Staff. The first meeting of this committee occurred on Monday, November 30 at 8:00 a.m. in Room 103 of Town Hall. All meetings of the Building Committee are open to the public.

The members of the 9th Elementary School Building Committee are: 

  • David Pollak, Co-Chair – School Committee 
  • Neil Wishinsky, Co-Chair – Board of Selectmen
  • Janet Fierman, Co-Chair – Building Commission
  • Melvin Kleckner - Town Administrator
  • Clara Batchelor – Parks and Recreation Commission
  • Daniel Bennett - Building Commission
  • John Doggett - Advisory Committee Representative 
  • Blair Hines - Greater Baldwin Neighborhood Representative and Brookline Planning Board Member
  • Steven Brooks – Greater Baldwin Neighborhood Representative
  • John Co - School Parent Community Representative
  • David Gacioch - School Parent Community Representative
  • Andrew Bott - Superintendent of Schools
  • Mary Ellen Dunn - Deputy Superintendent of Administration and Finance
  • Nicole Gittens – Deputy Superintendent of Teaching and Learning
  • AC Sevelius – Interim Principal, Heath School
  • Ray Masak – Project Manager, Building Department

JLA will complete the Feasibility Study by May 2017. JLA has already begun the initial outreach and work with staff to develop the action plan, timeline and deliverables for this phase of the project. The timeline and process for the Feasibility Study - including all scheduled public meetings - will be posted on this website.  

Email a question or a comment regarding the 9th School Feasibility Study.

 

To sign up for email updates about the 9th School Building Project, please follow this link and select Building Committee for the 9th Elementary School at Baldwin option. 

 

To view the schedule of upcoming meetings, summaries of past meetings, and view presentations and materials to the Feasibility Study and Site Selection, please use the links to the left.  

 
 
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Board of Selectmen and School Committee select Baldwin School site for 9th Elementary School

PK-8 school will be Brookline's first new school in more than 70 years

Feasibility Study is next step in design process

 
On October 13, 2016, after a process that began more than four years ago, more than 20 public meetings over the past year, and input from hundreds of community members, the Board of Selectmen and the Brookline School Committee voted to select the Baldwin School site as the location for the town's new elementary school. 
 
The two boards deliberated for more than two hours in the Brookline High School auditorium with each member taking a turn to explain in depth their reasons for selecting and ranking the sites. The public deliberations made it clear that there were varied opinions on each member's first choice but unanimity on supporting whichever site was eventually selected. The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted down proceeding with the Village School (Stop & Shop) site, while a majority of School Committee members identified the same site as their first choice. In the next round of voting, the School Committee voted in favor of the Baldwin School site while the Selectmen favored the Beverly Road site.
 
Further discussion ensued with those on both sides expressing the importance of coming to agreement on one site and expressing flexibility on a final decision. A final round of voting affirmed Baldwin as the selection as a majority of both boards voted in favor of building a new school at the Baldwin School site. 
 
The next stage of the process is a Feasibility Study which will be conducted by Jonathan Levi Architects between November 2016 and April 2017. 

 

Final Site Selection Documents

Leading up to the October 13 joint meeting of the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee where they are scheduled to make a final selection on the site for a new elementary school.  
  • Memo on Enrollment Changes School Assignment Boundaries submitted by Superintendent Andrew Bott  
    • As part of the 9th School Site Selection Process, and in response to board and public requests for information about ongoing changes in enrollment, Superintendent Bott submitted an update on the process for developing enrollment projections and redrawing school boundaries to the School Committee and Board of Selectmen on October 7. This report includes maps of current enrollment and the change in PK-3 and PK-8 enrollment over the pasts five years. In explaining both the need for redrawing school assignment boundaries whether or not the town is able to build a new PK-8 elementary school, the memo includes 15 criteria that will be considered when boundaries are redefined.

9th School Site Selection - Overview and Summary of Process 

On October 13th, the Board of Selectmen and Brookline School Committee will select a site for Brookline’s new PK-8 elementary school. The site selection is the next step in the multi-year effort to address the ongoing and dramatic expansion of student enrollment in our town’s public schools. Since 2008, the town and schools have addressed our enrollment increases by adding 54 classrooms to our existing K-8 schools, and have commissioned three studies to identify the best possible location for a brand new school. 

This September and October, the School Committee and Board of Selectmen will complete the most recent public input process that began in October 2015. Since October 2015 there were 20 open and public meetings where community members have been able to learn about, participate in, and provide input about site selection for the new PK-8 elementary school. In September and October 2016 alone, there were 5 more public meetings to provide the public with information about the sites under consideration and to get additional community input.

Recent Presentations


The current site selection process began in October 2015 with the release of the Civic Moxie site review that identified 30 possible locations for a new school and the vote of the School Committee and the Board of Selectmen that approved building a new 9th elementary schools as the preferred solution for addressing the overcrowding in Brookline’s K-8 schools. Six of these 30 sites were viewed as viable. After gathering public input through open meetings, a public hearing, neighborhood meetings, and open houses, the boards identified three sites that needed to be studied further: the Baker School site on Beverly Road, the Baldwin School/Soule Recreation Center site, and the Village School site on Harvard Street that includes the existing Stop and Shop grocery store.

In May 2016, through a public procurement process, the town’s Building Department hired JLA Architects to complete a Site Selection Study to provide the boards with the information they need to make final site selection. The Site Selection Study began in June, and JLA will present its final report to the Board of Selectmen and School Committee on the evening of September 8. Between September 8 and October 13 the boards will hold additional meetings to discuss final site selection and gather more public input.
 
Please see the meeting schedule below and please attend one or more of the upcoming meetings.
 
 Date     Public Meeting  Time and Location
September 8
Joint Meeting of the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee
Presentation of the 9th Elementary School Site Selection Study by Jonathan Levi Architects. At this meeting public input will be collected through written and electronic means.  
7:00 p.m.
Town Hall
6th floor 
 
Additional seating on 5th floor
September 14
Open House on the 9th Elementary School Site Selection
Town and School officials and staff will provide information on the 9th School Selection Study, answer questions, and solicit input from community members.
8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m
Baker School
Beverly Road 
September 22
Public Hearing on the 9th Elementary School Site Selection      
The School Committee and Board of Selectmen hold a Public Hearing to hear public comments on the 9th school. Written input will also be collected.  
7:00 p.m.
Town Hall
6th floor 
 
Additional seating on 5th floor 
September 28
Open House on the 9th Elementary School Site Selection
Town and School officials and staff will provide information on the 9th School Selection Study, answer questions, and solicit input from community members.
6:30 p.m - 8:00 p.m. Pierce School
 
October 13
Joint Board Meeting to Make Final Site Selection
The Board of Selectmen and School Committee will meet to vote on final site selection for the 9th Elementary School in Brookline.  
8:00 p.m.
Brookline High School 

Meetings of additional Town Boards and Commissions where they are considering matters related to the 9th Elementary School Site Selection

  • Building Commission – September 13
  • Park and Recreation Commission – September 13
  • Advisory Committee (and subcommittees) – Sept 13, 20, 27
  • Conservation Commission – September 20
  • Planning Board – September 21
 

Enrollment Growth in the Public Schools of Brookline

 
Since 2005, the Public Schools of Brookline have been experiencing dramatic enrollment growth. Since 2005, K-8 enrollment in Brookline has increased from 3,896 students to 6,193 students, a 40% increase in enrollment.

Over the last eight years, the Town, the School Department, the School Committee, the Board of Selectmen, and other town bodies and commissions have worked together on the “expand-in-place” strategy to better utilize existing school space and add more classrooms. Since 2008, the expand-in-place approach has added 54 classrooms by: building school additions; adding modular classrooms; renting space for classrooms; dividing larger classrooms into smaller ones; converting hallways, locker rooms, and small rooms into substandard classroom spaces; re-locating administrative offices into rental space; and taking classrooms previously dedicated to BEEP, Extended Day, and other programs.

More Details about the School Site Selection Process since 2008

Summaries of the public meetings since October 2015 can be found Summaries of Prior Public Meetings.   
 
For a complete history on the 9th school, please see the Brookline town  website on the 9th School Site Selection Process 
 
Email a question or a comment regarding the 9th School Site Selection Process.  Comments will be forwarded to the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee 


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