WILMINGTON, MA — Earlier this week, Wilmington Town Manager Jeff Hull updated the Board of Selectmen on the town’s efforts to secure grant funding from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for a future elementary school construction project.
Hull told the board that several town and school officials recently held a Zoom meeting with MSBA representatives to discuss the status of the Town’s recently submitted statements of interest for each of its elementary school, with an emphasis on the Wildwood Early Childhood Center.
“Representatives from the MSBA appeared to look favorably on the community’s financial readiness to commit to a partnership and recognize the need in light of the age of the six schools,” reported Hull. “While they understand that communities applying to participate in the CORE program may not have an exact roadmap of the best path forward for addressing multiple schools, they are seeking some demonstration that there is consensus within the community around characteristics and changes that residents would like to see and would not like to se with respect to the future elementary schools design and grade configuration.”
According to Hull, the MSBA wants a better understanding of “the degree to which the approach proposed in the plan is one that local leaders and the community would like to evaluate more closely” relative to elementary school grade configuration and possible school consolidations.
“The Town needs to take steps before the end of March to review the recommendations of the Facilities Master Plan concerning school consolidation and seek feedback on the types of grade structure and elementary school configuration that the local leaders and residents do not wish to see evaluated, ultimately leaving open the need to more closely study various options that our community could embrace and support as part of the future physical design of our school system,” concluded Hull.
Hull outlined the steps he and Brand are taking to solicit feedback in this outreach effort:
- Presentation to the Finance Committee on March 4
- Presentation to the Board of Selectmen on March 8
- Presentation to the School Committee on March 10
- Community survey begins on March 11
- Community survey closes on March 20
- Submit a summary of community feedback to MSBA during Week of March 26
Wilmington officials have recently expressed optimism in their chances of being invited into the MSBA’s school construction grant program.
“I am pleased to be able to share that Wilmington is seriously being considered [by the MSBA] for a possible partnership. It’s far from being finalized. There are ongoing conversations. We continue to best position Wilmington for a possible invitation in the MSBA’s grant program,” School Superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand told the School Committee earlier this month. “As we understand it, there’s approximately 30 communities that are in the mix.”
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