Demolition on the existing Stanley School and site work would start summer 2022. Construction completion will occur in summer 2024, with the new twin schools opening to students in September 2024.
Furthermore, a town-wide survey conducted in Fall 2020 indicated that the Stanley K-4 option was the option with the most overall support. Out of 1059 unique survey responses, the results were:
- A single elementary school housing all grades K through 4 : 44%
- A single elementary school housing all grades 3 through 5 : 32%
- Rebuild of only Hadley School (existing grades K through 4): 24%
With considerations including site size, traffic, open space, and educational opportunities in each design and site, the Stanley Site is the best siting for a school to serve all our K-4 students equitably. Current K-4 enrollment in Swampscott is approximately 778 students. The new twin K-2 and 3-4 schools have been designed to accommodate up to 900 students in order to accommodate potential future increases in capacity and provide flexibility (MSBA Submissions, linked here). This plan allows for increased teacher and staff collaboration and centralized students support, and ensures that ALL our current and future elementary students have access to a safe and modern building NOW.
The current Stanley Elementary School building will be replaced with new twin schools – one for grades K-2, and one for grades 3-4. Clarke School will house District administration and Pre-K program, and Hadley School will be repurposed. Last Fall, Town Meeting created the Hadley Re-Use Committee to study the re-use of the Hadley School, with the goal that the Hadley School will be preserved, continue to serve a public purpose, and not be converted to market-rate housing. Many exciting mixed-use possibilities are currently being workshopped by the Hadley Re-use Committee.
The proposal in 2014 was for a single school for grades 1-4 behind the current middle school. That proposal had many challenges, including, for example, a lack of play spaces, and the impacts of having kindergarten separate from the elementary school. The Swampscott School Building Committee carefully considered and sought to address these issues and concerns in the current twin elementary school proposal.
Students at the Stanley School will attend Hadley School, Clarke School and temporary spaces made available during construction. The plan is currently being finalized by the Superintendent of Schools and the School Building Committee, and will be finalized well in advance of the start of construction in Summer 2022 and the start of the 2022-2023 school year.
Swampscott’s elementary schools are the fourth oldest of any town in Massachusetts. If we do not proceed now with the new twin elementary schools, then we keep the antiquated, inequitable, and sub-par school conditions we currently have. If we do not proceed now with the new twin elementary schools, the Town will forgo up to $34,350,000 in grants from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) and Swampscott taxpayers will likely be required to fund 100% of the costs to replace/improve our elementary schools. Moreover, the cost to renovate or replace our 3 elementary schools to make them 21st century schools was carefully considered by the School Building Committee, but would cost considerably more than the current proposal and will take years, if not decades, to complete. In the meantime, Swampscott’s students and teachers would continue to have to operate the best they are able in outdated schools.