Yes – The elementary school plans show over 2.8 acres of new outdoor play and learning spaces for our students, including:
- A new play field (+/- 43,830 s.f.)
- A new community playground (+/- 18,770 s.f.)
- Outdoor classrooms and play spaces adjacent to the new building (+/- 35,600 s.f.)
- A rain garden and additional planting areas (+/- 20,730 s.f.)
The new school is also adjacent to Ewing Woods, which features acres of conservation land and nature trails.
Source: Lavallee Brensinger Architects; Hadley Elementary School Schematic Design Submittal dated May 5, 2021 to the Massachusetts School Building Authority
The median tax impact through 2036 is 82¢/day, dropping to only 59¢/day thereafter, as documented by Unibank, Swampscott’s financial consultant. Tune in to the June 14th 2021 joint Select Board/ Finance Committee meeting for more info (video link here) and take a look at the breakdown for each year:
To meet modern day education space needs, both schools require a full gut and expansion: Hadley (110 years old) needs 50,000 s.f. of expansion space & Stanley (92 years old) needs 31,000 s.f. of expansion space. This would have a 60% higher cost than the current proposal, and would force us to lose $34,350,000 in grants the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) has committed to this project.
Source: Lavallee Brensinger Architects and Massachusetts School Building Authority Education Facility Planning Guidelines
No – Last month Town Meeting approved the Select Board’s request to record a deed restriction on the Hadley property that will prohibit market-rate housing at Hadley. The deed restriction was unanimously approved by the Select Board on September 28, 2021, and is now recorded with the Essex Registry of Deeds.
The Hadley Re-use Advisory Committee, comprised of 23 residents, examined potential future uses, with the goal that the Hadley building be preserved, continue to serve a public purpose, and not be converted into market-rate housing. Several exciting mixed-use possibilities were explored by the Hadley Re-use Committee; the three primary scenarios in consideration for the Hadley building are itemized in the Hadley Re-Use Committee report here.
No – To ensure student safety and distribute traffic, the new school will have 3 means of egress, one of which will be over the existing rear parking lot of the adjacent UU church for drop-off and pick-up on school days only for the lower elementary school (K-2) (See below graphic). The Town will acquire only a non-exclusive easement over this portion of the parking lot, meaning that the UU church will still own this property and have rights to use their parking lot as they currently do. On October 6th the Select Board announced that the Town and UU church had agreed to work through the details of the easement with an independent third-party mediation (see full statement below). It is the Town’s stated goal to find a mutually beneficial agreement with the UU church.
The Swampscott Select Board issued the following statement on October 6, 2021: “The Town of Swampscott and the UUCGL continue to discuss the easement required as part of the new elementary school. The Town and Church met most recently last week and agreed to resolve details of the easement with the benefit of a third-party mediator. This is important progress, and a key step towards a fair and equitable resolution for all. We appreciate the church’s strong sense of community and their commitment to collaborating with the Town on this critically important project for our Town.”
No – The Town and UU church have agreed to work with an independent third-party mediator to address all topics related to the easement, thereby avoiding any use of eminent domain. The budget for the new school, which has been approved by the Swampscott School Building Committee and the Massachusetts School Building Authority, includes ALL anticipated costs of the project, including any costs related to the value of the easement.
No – Similar to the existing Stanley Elementary School, the new school will be built near, but not in, nearby wetland and wooded areas. The plan has been designed to comply with all environmental regulations and laws. Just like all other buildings to be constructed near wetlands, prior to the start of construction the new school will be reviewed by the Swampscott Conservation Commission to ensure that it meets all requirements of the Wetlands Protection Act.
Not only will the new school comply with all environmental requirements, the new school will be one of the most ‘green’ school buildings in Massachusetts. The new elementary school will be LEED certified and will be heated and cooled using tempered water from 100+ geothermal wells (located under the new soccer field) – giving us one of the most energy efficient schools in Massachusetts. Using geothermal energy and replacing the Hadley and Stanley schools will eliminate +/- 375 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year – that’s the same as removing 45 homes from the grid or taking 81 passenger cars off the road. With solar added to the project, the new school will generate more energy than it uses.