As mentioned above, there are several school building projects on the horizon for Needham. Starting with this issue, CNS will maintain this topic as a recurring section of our newsletter and endeavor to keep readers up to date on the status of current and future projects.
Needham High School Needham High School was constructed for a student population of 1,450 students. However, the current year's enrollment is 1,614 students, and enrollment is expected to continue climbing and to remain over 1,700 students for the foreseeable future. This has put tremendous pressure on classroom and common spaces, notably the cafeteria. In an effort to begin addressing space constraints at Needham High, October's Special Town Meeting approved $200,000 to reconfigure two large classrooms at NHS into four smaller classrooms for next year. In December, the Finance Committee authorized $50,000 for a design study of ways to create additional classroom, cafeteria and other spaces at Needham High. The School Committee hopes to work with other Town Departments to bring a warrant article before Town Meeting later this year for a larger construction project at Needham High School to address anticipated space needs.
Elementary School Projects
Two elementary school projects are planned for the next decade - Hillside and Mitchell. The Hillside project is being taken up first as this building was deemed to be in the poorest physical condition by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).
Current sites being considered for the Hillside project are as follows:
- Current Hillside location
- New elementary school at DeFazio Park
- New 6th grade School at DeFazio Park with High Rock School becoming an elementary school
Needham is currently partnering with the MSBA on the Hillside project and a feasibility study is expected to begin early in the new year.
Following the Hillside Project, needs at the Mitchell School will then be addressed. These two elementary school projects are closely related, and decisions made about how to rebuild the Hillside School will have a direct impact on other elementary schools in terms of school size, the need for redistricting and transportation. Additional information about plans to rebuild Hillside and Mitchell are available here.