Select Board approves funding question for Driscoll School Building Project on town-wide ballot
Yesterday, the Brookline Select Board voted in favor of putting the Driscoll School Building Project on a town-wide ballot on Tuesday, December 10. This decision is the next step in the process to fund the construction of a new Driscoll School.
In November 2019, Town Meeting Members will consider and vote to authorize funds for the construction process. Brookline voters will then have the opportunity to approve this funding through the ballot.
As currently configured, the building project would rebuild and expand the current Driscoll School into a 4-section building (i.e., 4 classrooms per grade level), provide additional learning spaces for special education programs, and increase outdoor playspace by 24,500 square feet.
Over the next few weeks, the Public Schools of Brookline will present more information on the final design of the Driscoll School to Town Meeting Members and the general public.
We want to thank principal Dr. Suzie Talukdar, the Driscoll staff, and the Driscoll community for their support of this project, and for their patience and perseverance as we continue to move forward with our efforts to ensure the Driscoll community has a modern facility.
Earlier this year, the Driscoll School Building Project reached an important milestone with the completion of the schematic design phase. The Driscoll School Building Committee, along with architectural firm Jonathan Levi Architects, the School Committee, and the Select Board finished reviewing final design plans, refined construction cost, and project cost estimates in April 2019.
Town of Brookline voters must approve a debt exclusion override before any construction on the Driscoll School can begin. On October 22, 2019, the Select Board will be holding a public hearing to determine if this question should be placed on a Town-wide ballot. PSB students, staff, parents, alumni, and community members are invited to comment at the following meeting:
- Select Board Meeting: Tuesday, October 22, 6:45 p.m., at Brookline Town Hall, Select Board Hearing Room, 333 Washington Street, 6th Floor
The full meeting agenda can be accessed here.
Overview and Background
Since 2005, Brookline has experienced historic enrollment growth in its public schools. The K-8 elementary schools have grown by 40% going from 3,904 students in 2006 to 5,482 students in 2017, which is equivalent to adding three schools into our existing schools in just over 10 years. For a decade now, the Town and School Department has been addressing the expanding student population by studying potential sites for a new elementary school and by adding classrooms to existing schools by dividing classrooms; converting offices, locker rooms, and hallways into classrooms; renting private buildings; and building new classrooms or adding modular classes. Despite adding nearly 60 classrooms to our existing schools through this “Expand-in-Place” strategy, the schools continue to be severely overcrowded.
On September 26, 2019, the School Committee unanimously approved moving forward with the Long-Term Capital Plan to address Brookline's overcrowded schools, substandard facilities, and historic enrollment growth over the past ten years. Through this plan, the district will renovate and expand the Pierce School through the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) partnership, renovate and expand the Driscoll School, and continue plans to build a new K-8 school at Brookline.