Windham LINK attended the Citizens Facilities Committee Meeting on Monday, April 6, 2015. There was a large turnout including District educators and administrators who raised questions about whether an Elementary School of the magnitude being considered (1000 students, grades Pre-K - 4) is feasible and would best meet the educational needs of our children.
School District employees who attended the meeting included the GBS Principal, Library and Media Specialist, and a PE teacher. The meeting was also attended by the District’s Director of Student Services. According to school employees, the current plan is missing 9,000 sq. ft. of adequate space to accommodate a media center/library, special education rooms, storage, and offices at GBS alone. There was no discussion about the renovations to the Middle School that are included as part of Option 2, nor did they discuss how the 6th grade would be integrated into Center School.
Community members raised concerns about whether a “super-sized” school is setting our children up for failure. One attendee stated that less than 5% of elementary schools in the country are this size and research shows that test scores go down and negative behaviors increase proportionally with the size of a school.
Members of the audience and the Committee felt that if the proposed Option 2 is expanded to include the list of needs presented by School District employees and if the plan is feasible, then it could be a viable solution to the overcrowding in our District. However, Option 2 has not been reviewed by a professional architectural and engineering firm (A&E firm). An A&E firm would determine if the plan is possible on the site and if it can support 1,000 students/staff and the associated:
The next Citizens Facilities Committee Meeting will be on Monday, April 13, 2015 at 5PM at the SAU Building. The Committee is planning to present Option 2 to the School Board on April 21, though the agenda for that meeting has not been set. Both meetings are open to the public.
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