Town of Brookline approves funding for new Driscoll School
Dear Brookline Families, Educators, and Community Members,
The Public Schools of Brookline is extremely thankful for the overwhelming support of our community. By approving a debt exclusion override to fund the new Driscoll School, Brookline has reaffirmed its mission to provide an extraordinary education for every child.
Yesterday’s vote showed how much of our district’s success relies on a team effort. It is truly humbling to see how powerful our community can be when we come together for our schools. I want to say thank you to the many parents and neighbors who campaigned and voted in favor of the override. Thank you to the Driscoll staff and educators who gave input and helped shape the school’s design. And thank you to our students and community for their patience and persistence as we developed this project over the past seven years.
Rebuilding Driscoll is only a part of our ambitious three-school solution to provide relief to our overcrowded schools and address the historic enrollment growth of our district. And while funding approved by voters allows PSB to move forward with these priorities, there is still more work to do. Over the next five years, we remain committed to renovating and expanding the Pierce School in partnership with the Massachusetts School Building Authority. We remain committed to building a ninth K-8 school at a new site. We remain committed to maintaining the unique strengths and identities of PSB, such as our Special Education, English Learner Education, and Early Education programs. Most of all, we remain committed to working together step by step, day by day, in continuing to build Brookline’s future and preparing our students for success.
In January 2020, the Driscoll Building Committee will begin collaborating with the architects to prepare for construction and refine the design plan. We anticipate that the construction of the new Driscoll School will tentatively begin in late 2020 or early 2021. As these details are fleshed out, we will continue to involve families, staff, and community members throughout the process and create opportunities for you to provide input and feedback on this transition.
Again, thank you Brookline. Thank you for saying "Yes" to our students, staff, and community and for your continued commitment and dedication to our schools.
Overview and Background
Since 2005, Brookline has experienced historic enrollment growth in its public schools. The K-8 elementary schools have grown by 39% going from 3,904 students in 2006 to 5,442 students in 2019, which is equivalent to adding four schools into our existing schools in just nearly 15 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.