• 9th School - Summaries and Updates of Public Meetings


    October 16, 2017 - Joint Meeting of Board of Selectmen and School Committee Public Hearing on Alternate Sites for the 9th Elementary School

    Town leaders held the 35th public meeting since November 2015 on siting and building a 9th Elementary School. More than 300 community members attended this Joint Public Hearing held in the Brookline High School auditorium.

    Board of Selectmen Neil Wishinsky and School Committee Chairman David Pollak opened the hearing by giving a short presentation that detailed the eight year history of Town leaders trying to identify a site for a new elementary school. Mr. Pollak explained that since 2009 there have been eight studies, reports, and selection processes devoted to trying to identify a site and build a 9th elementary school. He once again detailed the explosive growth in Brookline’s K-8 enrollment, this time sharing the actual numbers of student growth for each separate school since 2005. Six of Brookline’s eight elementary schools have grown by more than 40% since 2005. Mr. Pollak also shared the video of the Baldwin School design originally shown last spring at a Building Committee meeting and Town Meeting and described some of the space deficiencies in our elementary schools.

    Mr. Wishinsky asked those gathered to provide input to the Board of Selectmen and School Committee on three options that are under consideration:  1) Building the preferred design option on the full Baldwin School site; 2) building a school on the smaller northern parcel of the Baldwin School site; and 3) acquiring and building on a site currently owned by Pine Manor College. 53 people spoke and provided input to the combined committees.

    To receive notices about upcoming meetings about the 9th elementary school, please follow this link and select Building Committee for the 9th Elementary School at Baldwin option.

    October 3, 2017 - Joint Meeting of Board of Selectmen and School Committee

    More than 75 people attended the first meeting to consider an alternative site for the 9th Elementary School held at the Brookline High School auditorium. Neil Wishinsky, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, opened the meeting detailing the rapid and ongoing expansion of enrollment growth in Public Schools that started in 2005 and continues today. He summarized the efforts of the Town and School Department to accommodate this growth through dividing classrooms, building classrooms, leasing space, and tolerating core spaces like gyms, cafeterias, and hallways that are two small for the number of students in the schools. Mr. Wishinsky described the legal complexities, conservation restrictions, and the threatened legal challenges from residents that have led the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee to identify a parcel owned by Pine Manor College as a possible alternative site. In voting to expand the sites under consideration, Mr. Wishinsky explained that the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee did not remove the Town-owned Baldwin site from consideration, nor did they authorize the taking of the College property by eminent domain. He quoted the exact language of the vote for those present:

    “To modify the prior decision to locate the 9th elementary school on the Baldwin site by expanding the Town’s consideration of other sites to include acquiring land at Pine Manor College and conducting due diligence and obtaining public feedback to make a final decision on site selection.”

    Mr. Wishinsky also reiterated that tonight’s meeting was just the first meeting of a public process to consider whether or not the Town should consider the Pine Manor parcel as a possible site and that there would be a Public Hearing on October 16th and numerous other hearings related to Town Meeting Warrant Article #5 relative to the 9th Elementary School. Mr. Wishinsky closed by saying: 

    “To be clear, we have not made any final decision about the site of the 9th elementary school and will not do so until more study has been completed and all public input is considered.  Even then, a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting is required to authorize capital funding for a school project and authorize any taking of private property. Those questions will come before Town Meeting at a future date.”

    Mr. Wishinsky then introduced Jonathan Levi, the architect who has been working with the Town and School Department on the 9th Elementary School project.Mr. Levi made a short presentation describing the planning previously completed on the Baldwin site and the upcoming review of the alternative site named by the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee. After reviewing the preferred design option for Baldwin considered by the 9th School Building Committee and the School Committee during spring 2017, he showed a new concept for Baldwin for a school that would fit on the southern portion of the Baldwin School. He explained that this alternative design at Baldwin would be between 3 and 5 stories and would have a greater impact on the existing traffic pattern at Hammond Street, Heath Street and Route 9. Mr. Levi concluded his presentation by showing a map of current and former Pine Manor property and three preliminary conceptual drawing showing how a school building could potentially fit on the Pine Manor parcel under consideration. Mr. Levi stressed that these drawings were made simply to illustrate that the site was large enough for a school building the size needed by the Town. 

    After Mr. Levi’s presentation, Chairman Wishinsky invited Tom O’Reilly, the President of Pine Manor College to make remarks. Mr. O’Reilly’s statement described the value of Pine Manor to its students, and shared the demographics of its students, their graduation and employment rates, and the perspective of two students and what they value about the college. 

    The next scheduled meeting on the 9th Elementary School will be a Joint Public Hearing on October 16 at the Brookline High School Auditorium. 


    May 23, 2017 - Brookline Town Meeting

    Town Meeting voted 182 to 30 in support of a motion to appropriate $1.5 million to continue work on developing the design for the 9th Elementary School at Baldwin. 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. 

    May 16, 2017 - Building Committee Meeting

    The Building Committee for the 9th Elementary School at Baldwin held its ninth meeting on Tuesday, May 16th that focused on the internal design of the school building and the spaces that will be used by students, teachers, and families. This was the first meeting with newly named Co-Chair, Neil Wishinsky, who replaced former Co-Chair Nancy Daly. In addition to community members in attendance, Jonathan Levi and Philip Gray of Jonathan Levi Architects (JLA) were also at the meeting.

    Mr. Levi presented the first detailed look inside the proposed school. He noted that the design of the building and the approach to education supports Brookline in remaining a leader in providing innovative and high quality public education. Reflective of how children learn and how educators are teaching, Mr. Levi said the interior space is based on the educational plan developed by the school department with input from teachers, school councils, and administrators. Mr. Levi provided a virtual tour of the school, highlighting the “neighborhood clusters” of for grades PK-2, 3-5, and 6-8, a central media center and library, two learning commons, project work spaces, teacher work areas, as well as music and art rooms.

    Special Assistant for Strategy and Performance, Ben Lummis, shared the results of the annual Family Feedback survey that related to student arrival and drop-off. Mr. Lummis also presented a preliminary version of the 2020 K-8 Enrollment Projection Geographic Distribution Map that shows the area within which the equivalent of 7 sections of students live in South Brookline. Both Mr. Lummis and Co-Chair David Pollak stressed that the map is not intended to show school assignment boundaries and should not be used for these purposes. The materials also included the draft list of criteria to be used during the School Assignment Boundary review process that have been shared at numerous public meetings and can be found on the 9th School website.

    Jonathan Levi also shared drawings of alternative concepts that could potentially address land use concerns. While these rough concepts were shared with the committee, they are not under consideration by the committee at this time.

     April 27, 2017 - Advisory Committee Meeting

    The Advisory Committee considered CIP funding for Schematic Design for the 9th School Building Project. Capital Subcommittee Chair Carla Benka provided the Subcommittee’s Report on their recommendation to defer funding for Schematic Design until November 2017. Robust discussion followed with the full Committee discussing traffic considerations, issues related to Article 97, the ongoing need for a 9th School to address overcrowding, the difficulty of selecting a site without further legal challenges, and the need for an alternative plan in the event that the Baldwin site does not move forward. Committee members Mike Sandman and Fred Levitan offered amendments to the Capital Subcommittee’s motion to defer funding until November that would allow Schematic Design funding to be released earlier. These motions were defeated and the Committee voted to recommend deferring funding for Schematic Design until November 2017.
    The Building Committee for the 9th Elementary School at Baldwin held its eighth regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 25th. Selectwoman Nancy Daly opened by announcing it as her last meeting as Co-Chair of the Building Committee, with Selectman Neil Wishinsky taking over the Co-Chair position moving forward. The meeting agenda began with an updated Traffic Modeling presentation by Giles Hamm of VAi, followed by John Doggett of the Building Committee sharing a traffic simulation using the Simulation of Urban Mobility (SUMO) program. Superintendent Andrew Bott noted that the School Department is currently working to operationalize all schools to better staff and operationalize morning arrival. The Building Committee then took questions from members of the community that were in attendance. Following this portion of the meeting, Ben Lummis from the School Department shared the current estimates being used for planning related to the improved Soule parking lot including number of spaces reserved for Soule users during the school day, staff parking, student drop-off, and event parking for Soule Recreation and school events. Park and Recreation Commissioner Clara Batchelder provided an update from the April 4th meeting Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, and shared that the commission has concerns about the parking lot area and the impact of the design on the park as a whole. In working with the Town, they have designated a consultant to look into these considerations, and plan to move quickly to complete this peer review process. Co-Chair Nancy Daly called for a motion to vote on Woodland Road remaining a one-way, and not bringing the two-way consideration to the Transportation Board. The motion passed. Superintendent Bott then shared with the members of the Building Committee a preliminary draft of what a School Traffic Safety and Traffic Mitigation Plan plan to illustrate the level of detail, policy development and procedures that will go into this type of planning for all schools. Nancy Daly closed the meeting by encouraging members to engage with “Mothers Out Front” and similar school groups in order to cultivate a parent-lead effort to encourage carpooling and alternative modes of transportation. Deputy Superintendent Mary Ellen Dunn also suggested the “Safe Routes to Schools” state-funded resource to be integrated within current groups and committees.

    April 24, 2017 - Capital Subcommittee of the Advisory Committee Meeting

    The Capital Subcommittee of the Town’s Advisory Committee held a public hearing on the FY18 Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Budget including schematic design funding for the 9th Elementary School. The subcommittee first discussed details of the project with the Building Committee for the 9th School committee chairs Selectman Nancy Heller, School Committee member Susan Wolf Ditkoff, and Building Commissioner George Cole and with Superintendent Andrew Bott. After hearing comments from the members of the public, the subcommittee went into Executive Session to hear from town legal counsel on possible litigation in opposition to the project. After the Executive Session, the subcommittee returned to Public Session and after further discussion voted on a motion related to funding for schematic design for the 9th Elementary School. By a vote of 4-0, the Capital Subcommittee, noting a pending court case that may influence how the Town proceeds in the anticipated Article 97 conversion process, recommends Favorable Action on the following motion:  To defer the vote on $1,500,000 for the schematic design services for the 9th School at Baldwin until the Fall Town Meeting. On Thursday, April 27 at 7:00 

    April 4, 2017 - Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting

    March 28, 2017 - Building Committee Meeting

    The Building Committee for the 9th Elementary School at Baldwin met on Tuesday, March 28th, for its seventh meeting. Co-Chair Nancy Daly opened the meeting by asking Jonathan Levi from Jonathan Levi Architects (JLA) to provide a recap of the three Design Alternatives, so the Committee could vote on the preferred design. In addition, Mr. Levi described the level of detail at each phase, underscoring the types of activities that are done in the Feasibility Phase versus the Schematic, Design, and subsequent phases. Project Manager Ray Masak reiterated the process as deciding on a massing model, then voting to appropriate funds at Town Meeting to move into the Schematic Phase. A large majority of the committee voted to proceed with Design Alternative “D”. Erin Gallentine from the Parks and Recreation Commission then reviewed the Land and Water Conservation Fund/Article 97 process with the Committee, as well as federal protection considerations. Following this review, Giles Hamm, Traffic Engineer with Vanasse and Associates (VAi), provided an update on traffic circulation and the proposed parking area. The meeting concluded with a vote to table the scheduled vote of the proposed traffic direction on Woodland Road. 

    March 6, 2017 - Community Open House Meeting

    On Monday, March 6th, more than 100 community members participated in the 9th Elementary School Open House at the Heath School Cafeteria. The meeting began with a brief introduction from Superintendent Bott and a presentation by JLA Architects, then moved into an “open house” environment in which participants visited  “stations” on a variety of topics. The Open House format allowed for community members to engage in direct conversation with the Building Committee members, School Committee members, members of the School Committee, Jonathan Levi and Philip Gray from JLA Architects, traffic engineer Giles Hamm, Parks and Recreation representatives, and School Department leaders. Unlike a typical public hearing, the Open House allowed for more community members to participate, get answers to their individual questions, and create a better understanding of where in the process the project stands. The stations included the following: Design Alternative “A”, Design Alternative “D”, and Design Alternative “E”; Why Brookline Needs a New School; the Traffic Study; Soule Recreation Center Improvements; and Student Assignment. Community members were also offered the opportunity to submit written comments, as well as sign-up for electronic communication about the building project and future meetings. 

    February 28, 2017 - Building Committee Meeting

    The Building Committee for the 9th Elementary School at Baldwin met on Tuesday, February 28th to continue discussing design alternatives. David Pollak reported to the Building Committee that, based on Superintendent Bott’s recommendation, the School Committee voted in favor of a 3-section PK-8 school that includes a district-wide special education program and a district-wide English language learner program. Taking into consideration community concerns on building size, future school assignment boundaries, and traffic the proposed 3-section school will add students geographically as a 3-section while having 100 fewer students than a full 4-section school. Mr. Pollak also explained that including the district-wide programs will help alleviate the overcrowding in at least two other K-8 schools while providing some cost savings and future flexibility. Following the brief discussion on the School Committee decision, Jonathan Levi and Philip Gray of Jonathan Levi Architects (JLA) presented three design alternatives: Option A, Option D, and Option E. While discussing these options, committee members raised questions about student drop off, car access to the site, and parking, and requested further details on traffic flow. During this preliminary discussion, committee members expressed support for Option D. Toward the end of the meeting, community members were also able to provide input, ask questions, and voice concerns. In addition to traffic considerations, the topic of student reassignment was also brought up, and it was noted that current reassignment criteria can be found on the school district’s website. An “open house” format public meeting will be held on Monday, March 6th in the Heath School Cafeteria from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. so the Building Committee can continue to get public input on the design alternatives before making a final decision on a preferred design.

    February 14, 2017 - Building Committee Meeting

    The Building Committee for the 9th Elementary School at Baldwin held its fifth meeting on Tuesday, February 14th. In addition to the Building Committee, participants included community members, Jonathan Levi and Philip Gray of Jonathan Levi Architects (JLA), and Traffic Engineer Giles Hamm of Vanasse and Associates, Inc. Mr. Hamm presented the Traffic Study for the 9th School, starting with the “Traffic Impact Assessment” that included data on traffic counts, pedestrian facilities deficiencies, existing wait time and queue lengths and accident data. The presentation highlighted accessibility to the proposed school via surrounding roads and sidewalks, pedestrian improvement, bicycle considerations, transit usage, busing of students, a drop-off/pick-up traffic management plan, a construction management plan, and traffic monitoring (to be done three months after opening and annually). Overall, the qualitative assessment concluded that Baldwin is a good site for the new school. Discussion following the Traffic Study presentation included topics such as busing in Brookline and the ongoing collaboration between Parks and Recreation and PSB. The committee also took comments and answered questions from community members attending the meeting. The committee then scheduled  a Community Open House to allow the public to have a full update on the project, engage in dialogue with the Building Committee Members and provide input. This meeting is scheduled for March 6, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. with the location still to be determined.

    February 2, 2017 - School Committee Meeting

    At their February 2 workshop the School Committee focused on the 9th School at Baldwin and the Brookline High School expansion projects. JLA Architects presented the space summary for a three-section and a four-section elementary school that represented the rooms and spaces needed based on the 9th School educational plan.  Superintendent Andrew Bott presented his recommendation for the number of sections needed in the school. The School Committee discussed at length the superintendent’s recommendation and will discuss it further at the February 9 School Committee meeting. (Note: The February 9 School Committee meeting was cancelled due to weather so the School Committee will further discuss Superintendent Bott’s recommendation on February 16.)

    January 24, 2017 - Building Committee Meeting

    On January 24, the Building Committee had its fourth working meeting. Jonathan Levy Architects (JLA) reviewed the three design alternatives the committee chose to pursue during the January 10 meeting. Discussion included the height of the proposed building, outdoor playspaces, parking options, and options for improvements for the Soule Recreation area. JLA presented preliminary costs of the three design alternatives. Slides of the initial designs, preliminary costs estimates and an initial evaluation matrix are included in the presentation that is linked to below. The committee also reviewed a proposed schedule for upcoming committee meetings and meetings with other town boards and commissions. This schedule is in draft form and is likely to change as this phase of the project progresses.Project Manager Ray Masak reported to the committee that on January 18, Vanasse and Associates, the firm doing the traffic study for the 9th School at Baldwin, met with representatives of VHB, the traffic consultant that is working with neighborhood representatives. At the January 4th traffic meeting that was held at Heath School, community members requested that the two firms meet and work together. 

    January 10, 2017 - Building Committee Meeting

    The Building Committee for the 9th Elementary School at Baldwin held its third open meeting. The committee discussed five preliminary design concepts, criteria for evaluation of the designs. and the request for the traffic study data to be jointly reviewed by the traffic consultant hired by the architect and one hired privately by community members. Project Manager Ray Masak informed the committee that the town's traffic engineer and the community member's traffic consultant had exchanged dates and were setting up a meeting to collaborate. After Jonathan Levi's presentation on the five preliminary design concepts, the committee used the evaluation criteria to discuss and evaluate them. Discussion included the need for open space, the importance of building a "green" school that minimized environmental impact during and after construction, access to the site, and the educational merits of each concept. Committee members agreed that the architects should develop Concepts A, D and E further. You can see all five preliminary concepts in the presentation this is linked to below. Towards the conclusion of the meeting, Committee Member John Doggett suggested a new design approach that would be built primarily on Soule Recreation land and would require a driveway between Heath and Hammond Streets that would pass underneath the building and include underground parking. 

    January 9, 2017 - Community Meeting:  Kickoff of Feasibility Phase

    More than 170 people came to Brookline High School for the community meeting to kickoff the Feasibility Phase of the 9th School building project. Superintendent Andrew Bott opened the meeting with a presentation detailing the longstanding and ongoing enrollment growth in our public schools, how the school department has renovated existing schools and leased space to add 55 classrooms since 2008, and the impact of growth if a new elementary school is not built. Lead architect Jonathan Levi explained the work his firm will do during the Feasibility Phase and showed five preliminary concepts that the Building Committee for the 9th School will consider during its January 10 meeting. Mr. Levi also described the site analysis and design principles which will guide his firm's work including daylighting, creating collaborative spaces, building on a residential scale, and connecting the physical structure with the outdoors. 46 community members participated in public comment providing input and asking questions. 

    January 4, 2017 - Community Meeting on Traffic Concerns

    Nearly 150 community members attended the January 4th meeting to hear an update on the traffic study being conducted as part of the Feasibility Phase for the 9th Elementary School at Baldwin. Jonathan Levi of Jonathan Levi Architects and traffic consultant, Giles Hamm presented, the scope, guidelines, and intended purpose of the traffic study that is underway. More than 40 people spoke and asked questions of the architect and the Building Committee members who attended the meeting. Concerns about safety, traffic, and the need for a transparent and open process related to the analysis of traffic were voiced repeatedly. Community representatives also requested that the data from the traffic study be shared publicly and with other traffic consultants who have been hired by a group of residents. For a summary of the public input please follow the link below. This summary has been shared with all members of the Building Committee for the 9th School at Baldwin. 

    December 14, 2016 - Building Committee Meeting

    The Building Committee for the 9th School at Baldwin had its second meeting on December 14th. During the meeting the Jonathan Levi Architects discussed design philosophy, site design, site evaluation and design alternatives. The bulk of the JLA's presentation focused on five preliminary concepts which allowed the building committee to begin to discuss the whether a four section or a three section school should be considered. The committee also discussed community process and decided to hold two Community Meetings at the Heath School in January. The January 4th meeting will focus on traffic and access considerations, and the January 9th meeting will focus more broadly on neighborhood input into building and site design. The January 9th meeting is the rescheduled Kickoff Meeting that was originally scheduled for December 12 at the town golf course. The committee scheduled upcoming committee meetings to be on the second and fourth Tuesdays each month. The committee also discussed the need to file a demolition permit for the Baldwin School with the Board of Preservation due to the 18 month timeline for considering such a permit. 

    December 12, 2016 - Community Kickoff Meeting

    This meeting was cancelled by the town's Deputy Fire Marshall due to overcrowding and has been rescheduled for January 9, 2017. It will be held at the Heath School Auditorium at 100 Eliot Street from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. 



    Site Selection Process

    Summaries and Updates of Public Meetings Related to Site Selection for the 9th School
    The site selection process that began in 2012 and was restarted in October 2015 with the release of the Civic Moxie Ninth Elementary School Site Identification Study concluded on October 13 with the Board of Selectmen and School Committee unanimously selecting the Baldwin School site for a new PK-8 elementary school. 
    Since October 2015 when the School Committee and the Board of Selectmen approved building a new 9th elementary schools as the preferred solution for addressing the overcrowding in Brookline’s K-8 schools, there were more than 20 public meetings to get input from community members about the sites being considered. Over the course of these twelve months the committees spoke to and heard from hundreds of community members as they considered more than 30 sites and looked at eight in depth. In February 2016, 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 site, and the Village School site on Harvard Street that includes the existing Stop and Shop grocery store. Through a competitive bidding process, Jonathan Levi Architects was hired to do the site selection study designed to assess whether the three sites were viable locations for a school.
    Below you will find updates, presentations, and materials from the 20 public meetings that occurred during the final site selection process between October 2015 and October 2016.  

    October 13 - Joint Board Meeting at BHS to make Final Site Selection 

    On the evening of October 13, after a process that began more than four years ago, including 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 boards held a joint meeting at the Brookline High School auditorium to make the final site selection for Brookline's first new elementary school in more than 70  years. The board meeting opened with a final presentation by Deputy Superintendent for Administration & Finance Mary Ellen Dunn Each sharing information about Brookline's continued enrollment growth. Architect Jonathan Levi reviewed the highlights of the completed site selection study and followed up on a few questions the boards asked during the September 22nd public hearing before answering some final questions from board members.
    The two boards then deliberated for more than two hours beginning with each board member articulating their preferred site and explaining their rationale for how they ranked their choices. Before any votes were taken the chairs of the two boards, Selectmen Neil Wishinsky and School Committee member, Susan Wolf Ditkoff made it clear that the two boards would vote separately and would need to decide on the same site in order to move forward to the next stage of design. Discussion ensued about all three sites before a vote was called for by the Board of Selectmen on whether to proceed with the Village School (Stop and Shop) site. With the Board of Selectmen voting unanimously to not proceed with the Village School site, that site was removed from consideration. 
     The boards then voted again with the School Committee voting 6 to 3 in favor of the Baldwin site and the Selectmen choosing Beverly Road. 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. With both boards making a final vote to affirming the selection of Baldwin they brought to conclusion more than four years and three different attempts at selecting a site for a new PK-8 elementary school in Brookline.   

    September 28 Open House at Pierce School

    On September 28, more than 100 community members participated in the 9th School Site Selection Open House at Pierce School to  spea with elected officials and staff from the Town and School Department the 9th Elementary School Site Selection that will happen on October 13.. 

    The informal Open House format allowed participants to speak directly to and engage in direct conversation with the elected officials who will make the final decision on a site on October 13. Representatives from Jonathan Levi Architects were also on hand to answer questions about the selection matrix and their concept drawings. 

    Site concept drawings, enrollment growth information, and the Site Study Selection Criteria were displayed throughout the Pierce School cafeteria at different stations. Participants chose which stations they visited and had a chance to ask questions of the elected leaders and staff members who were at that station. 

    September 22 Public Hearing

    On September 22, more than 120 community members attended a public hearing, the 18th open and public meeting about the 9th Elementary School Site Selection. Ben Lummis, the school district's Special Assistant for Strategy & Performance started the meeting by presenting a summary of the public input that have been provided to the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee including more than 350 comments collected online and nearly 200 written comment submitted this summer and fall. Jonathan Levi Architects provided a summary of his firm's findings and conclusions about the three sites under consideration, and Giles Ham of Vanasse and Company presented his findings on the traffic, drop-off, pick-up and parking considerations at each site. After these presentations, more than 40 community members gave public comments, sharing their thoughts and concerns about the proposed sites. 

    September 14 Open House at Baker School 

    More than 80 community members joined elected officials and staff from the Town and School Department at Baker School for an Open House about the 9th Elementary School Site Selection on the morning of September 14th.

    The informal Open House format allowed participants to speak directly to and engage in conversation with the elected officials who will make the final decision on a site on October 13. Representatives from Jonathan Levi Architects including their traffic engineer spoke to the entire assembled crowd to address concerns about traffic, parking, and drop off. The architects and engineer also answered direct questions from the participants.

    Site concept drawings, enrollment growth information, and the Site Study Selection Criteria were displayed throughout the Baker cafeteria at different stations. Participants chose which stations they visited and had a chance to ask questions of the elected leaders and staff members who were at that station.

    September 8 Joint Board Meeting - School Site Selection Study Report

    On September 8, the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee launched the final public input process leading up to site selection for a 9th elementary school by having a joint board meeting to on the 9th School Site Selection Study. More than 120 community members turned out at this meeting to hear Jonathan Levi of Jonathan Levi Architects (JLA) present the findings of the study of the three sites under consideration: Beverly Road, Baldwin School, and Village School (Stop and Shop site).

    Mr. Levi shared the results of the study comparing the sites across 38 different criteria and also presented broad cost ranges for all three sites. He shared again illustrative site concepts designed to demonstrate how buildings could potentially be placed on each site. During and after the presentation, Selectmen and School Committee members asked questions and discussed in depth their impressions of each site. Mr. Levi’s firm concluded that all three sites were appropriate for and had the physical capacity to support a school while also describing some of the specific complexities each site presented.

    September 8 Site Selection Study Presentation
    BIG TV video of September 8 Joint Board Meeting (Joint Board Meeting starts at 1:01:50 of the video)
    Memo recommending removal of eight sites from consideration at this time

    8 Sites Removed from Consideration “for now”

    Also on September 8, assured that the three finalist sites were viable, the boards considered a motion to remove other sites from consideration at this time. Each board held a separate vote to remove these sites from consideration at this time. In doing so, they were clear that these sites could potentially be considered at a later date.
    • Cottage Farm
    • Old Lincoln
    • Isabel School and Larz Anderson
    • Harvard Street Site (TJ Maxx)
    • Centre Street (Coolidge Corner)
    • Bournewood Hospital
    • Pine Manor
    • Putterham Meadows
    The boards also announced additional meetings with Town Commissions and Departments where site selection for a new elementary school would be discussed.
    • Building Commission – September 13
    • Park and Recreation Commission – September 13
    • Advisory Committee (and subcommittees) – Sept 13, 20
    • Conservation Commission – September 20
    • Planning Board – September 21

    July 26 Joint Board Meeting - Update on Progress of Site Selection Study

    On July 26, the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee held the 14th public meeting since October 2015 on site selection for the 9th elementary school. More than 120 community members attended and heard Jonathan Levi of Jonathan Levi Architects provide the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee with a progress report on the Site Selection Study. Mr. Levi provided preliminary ideas for how a school could be sited at the Baker Road, Baldwin/Soule, and Brookline Village sites. The meeting was broadcast live on BIG TV.


    June 14 Public Meeting to Kick Off Site Selection Study

    More than 100 community members attended the public meeting to kick off the 9th School Site Selection Study. Community members packed the School Committee room and overflowed into the hallways to hear the the 9th Elementary School Site Selection Study kickoff meeting. Jonathan Levi Architects (JLA), the architectural firm doing the site study, gathered input from the public on the three sites being studied this spring/summer. Community members voiced their strong desire keep the Stop & Shop grocery located at the Village Site that is being studied.More than 30 community members spoke during the evening. The community involvement and input was welcomed, and the School Committee and JLA listened to many of the community's concerns and comments and took written statements and questions that did not get voiced that night. 

    June 7 Joint Board Meeting on the 9th Elementary School

    The Board of Selectmen and the School Committee received an update on the Site Selection Study that is starting and reviewed the timeline for selecting a site in October 2016 for a 9th K-8 elementary school.  Nearly 50 community members attended this meeting. 


    May 18 2016 Community Meeting at Pierce School Auditorium

    More than 100 parents, guardians, and residents attended the May 18 public hearing at Pierce School on building a 9th elementary school. The meeting informed people of three sites needing further study over the spring/summer in order to come up with a decision in October on one site to move into a feasibility study phase. Please see more information on the meeting and view the presentation here, and Brookline Interactive Group coverage here.  

    March 16th Update

    The Park & Recreation Commission held a public hearing on March 15th at 7:00 p.m. at Town Hall on sites being considered for the 9th elementary school. The meeting included discussion of public school needs, park and recreation needs, and sites in South Brookline that are under consideration including the Baldwin School, Baker School and the Putterham Meadows Golf Course. 


    March 8th Update

    During the past two weeks at separate meetings, the School Committee, the Board of Selectmen, and the Advisory Committee all voted unanimously to proceed with the process for the 9th Elementary School and Brookline High School renovation and expansion without submitting a Statement of Interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority to allow for more flexibility in the design processes and the timelines for the projects. 

    Town Counsel has provided a second memo and and additional documentation relative to Article 97for sites being considered for the 9th elementary school including Putterham Meadows Golf Course. The January 21 memo regarding regarding Article 97 considerations in the document linked here.


    February 5th Update

    The School Committee’s Capital Subcommittee met on Thursday, February 4th, followed by a joint meeting of the School Committee and Board of Selectmen, and discussed next steps in the search for a site on which to build a ninth K-8 elementary school. The outcome of the joint board meeting was a decision to move ahead with a study of three sites to be funded out of the classroom capacity CIP budget - the Beverly Road site, the Baldwin School site, and the Village School (or Stop and Shop site) in Brookline Village. In parallel, work will continue on several other fronts including legal, enrollment projections, and meetings with other town boards, community groups, and land owners. No formal vote was taken with the understanding that this decision served as a "first reading” and that there will be further process and confirmation once a more defined scope of work for the studies has been defined in an RFP.


    January 21, 2016 Update

    Tonight the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee discussed an update on sites under consideration for a 9th elementary school. Interim Superintendent Joe Connelly provided an update on the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s decision on the district’s Statement of Interest for the renovation and expansion of Brookline High School. Economic Development Director Kara Brewton presented additional detail on the six sites identified by the November 2015 Civic Moxie study Ms. Brewton also updated the boards on the potential consideration of sites in South Brookline including Baker School and Pine Manor College. In addition the boards discussed a memo from town legal counsel Joslin Murphy regarding Article 97 considerations. Timelines for selecting finalist sites were discussed and the boards intend to meet again in early February.

    December 15, 2015 Update 

    On December 15th, the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee held a joint meeting on the 9th Elementary School Study. The boards discussed the significant and varied input they have heard from community members over the past two months. Economic Development Director Kara Brewton presented a summary of the comments and suggestions captured from two Open Houses, the December 3rd Public Hearing, hundreds of emails, and meetings with the Advisory Committee, the Preservation Commission, the Parks and Open Space Commission, the Conservation Commission, and numerous neighborhood groups. Interim Superintendent of Schools Joe Connelly presented slides on Brookline's continued enrollment growth and the impact on existing schools of not building a 9th elementary school. Nearly 100 residents attended the two-hour meeting. The boards will be scheduling another joint meeting in January. 

    December 3, 2015 Update

    On December 3, the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee held a public hearing on the 9th Elementary School Study. The board released the timeline for the full process for further studying finalist sites. More than 150 residents attended and heard comments from 52 Brookline citizens. 


    October and November 2015

    On the evening of October 22, 2015, the Brookline School Committee and Board of Selectmen reviewed the Ninth Elementary School Site Identification Study and discussed the need for a new school. At this meeting both boards separately voted on and approved the following two motions:

    1. Construction of a ninth school is the preferred solution to addressing continued enrollment growth in elementary grades in the Brookline Public Schools. Staff is directed to conduct further planning and analysis in support of this decision.
    2. Staff is directed to focus their efforts for additional due diligence and analysis, at this time, on the following two sites identified in the Ninth Elementary School Site Identification Study:  Cottage Farm and the Isabel School.

    To help fully inform as many community members as possible, members of the Board of Selectmen, the School Committee as well as staff from the Public Schools and Planning and Community Development Department decided to hold additional meetings and open houses. All members of the public are encouraged to attend these sessions to learn more about the possibility of new elementary school in Brookline and have your questions answered. The schedule is as follows:

    Tuesday, November 3rd: Public Health Building, Denny Room, 6-9 p.m.
    11 Pierce Street Lower Level
    Open-House Format, including School/Building/Planning Staff and Board/Committee members

    Thursday, November 12th: Town Hall, 5th Floor School Committee Room, 7-9 a.m.
    333 Washington Street
    Open-House Format, including School/Building/Planning Staff and Board/Committee members

    Thursday, December 3rd: Town Hall, 6th Floor Selectmen's Hearing Room, 7:30 p.m. 
    333 Washington Street
    Public Hearing Format

    Tuesday, December 15th: Town Hall, 6th Floor Selectmen's Hearing Room, 6:00 p.m. 
    333 Washington Street
    Joint Meeting of the Board of Selectmen and School Committee
    (meeting is being held during the regularly scheduled Board of Selectmen meeting)