This debt exclusion question would provide $3.5 million annually over 30 years to pay for the renovation/ rebuilding Franklin School.
Franklin is an 85-year-old elementary school with inadequate program spaces for today’s educational needs and antiquated and obsolete building systems that are beyond their useful life. It had two additions in the 1950s, the first for a gym and the second for kindergarten classrooms which regularly floods and have chronic heating problems due to the very poor construction. The library, art room, and after school spaces are located in the basement, which was not originally intended for student use. This basement space requires constant dehumidifying to prevent mold growth. The music room is currently located in the area that was designed in 1938 to be the bicycle storage room. The music program requires a space that is 3 times the size of the location currently used. The Franklin School has virtually no special education or student support spaces outside of the classrooms themselves. Hallways are used for breakout space and small group instruction, including for special education. Franklin has 6 different levels, which makes traversing the building challenging for those with mobility issues. The main entrance is 14 feet above street level, posing significant accessibility challenges.
Newton has a long-range facilities plan to upgrade its school buildings that began to be implemented when the citizens of Newton approved the 2013 overrides. If this question fails to pass then every other school needing improvements will be delayed as well. Newton’s children deserve a modern learning environment. Please vote yes on Question 3.
Click below to watch this video to learn more about the school buildings:
Why will Franklin
cost more than Countryside?
Both projects cost $61 million. Both Franklin and Countryside applied to the MSBA for a grant, but only Countryside was accepted. This is why the cost for Countryside will be less if we pass the override.