Introduction
The focus of the School Capacity Subcommittee is to aid the town in making the best decisions regarding the possible renovation, expansion and construction of schools within our community. Facilities Master Plan Phase II, for the Town of North Andover, includes four important school projects–the renovations and possible additions to Atkinson Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Kittredge Elementary, and North Andover Middle School.

The goals for these projects include:
  • updating our oldest schools to meet code and the needs of our students;
  • providing modern facilities conducive to 21st Century learners;
  • ensuring equity among our schools; and
  • providing enough space capacity in our schools to provide needed support services for our students, impact class size, and accommodate future enrollment growth 
The subcommittee will develop options and engage the public to gather input, vet, and respond to plans. It will bring its recommendations to the School Committee for a vote by June 2021. The work of this subcommittee will proceed in parallel and inform the work of the Facilities Master Plan II Committee. 
 
Ultimately the plan will be presented for review by the citizens of the town, at the May, 2022 Town Meeting. It is anticipated the town will commission a school building plan in phases. The first series of projects may begin in FY23 and be overseen by the School Building Committee.   

Subcommittee Documents
Needs Assessment
The town hired Mount Vernon Group, an engineering firm, in 2020 to conduct a comprehensive building assessment of the four schools affected by this project. These assessments included the building envelope, the roofing system, the interior conditions, structural systems, and all mechanical systems. The report provided some initial design options and estimated costs. The cost estimates are preliminary and based on current industry costs per square foot.
 
Facilities assessment were conducted in 2007/2008 to determine the utilization of each elementary school. The assessments focused on the suitability of each elementary school to meet its educational requirements, as well as identify shortfalls and issues. The assessments were used as the basis for identified needs as part of Facilities Master Plan Phase I. Some School Department needs were met in the first phase, but the major school renovations and additions were planned to be a part of Facilities Master Plan Phase II.
Enrollment Data
A key variable in the scope of this project is current and projected enrollment data. The town hired Arthur Wagman to analyze the enrollment projections provided by the Royal Crest Development firm. He was also asked to provide enrollment projections for the whole town to help inform our decisions around the need for future capacity in our schools. In addition, the town hired TBA Architects to act as a third party reviewer to further vet enrollment projections. 
Grade Configuration
The renovation of the schools provides an opportunity to reconsider the way grade levels are currently configured, which is stand-alone K, 1-5, 6-8, and 9-12. School grade configuration is the span of grades served by an individual school.

There are options to traditional grade configurations that take into consideration potential gains in student achievement, better use of facilities, and budget/space needs. Much of the research for this topic focuses on the best placement for 6th grade – elementary school vs. middle school level. Several of the model options propose different grade configurations for the school system. 
Proposed Models
Since December, the committee has been identifying and vetting various models for consideration by the School Committee, to aid in its recommendation to the Facilities Master Plan Committee. The mission of the sub-committee is to identify all of the possible various models for these school projects and to try to ascertain the most important factors to our community in order to make an informed recommendation to the School Committee.
 
The issues being used to vet these models include:
  • neighborhood schools or grade-based schools;
  • the number of transitions our students experience;
  • the most ideal placement for 6th grade;
  • the degree of and impact of any needed redistricting;
  • enrollment projections;
  • actual capacity and projected needed capacity of our schools;
  • price of projects; and
  • construction timing/phasing.

  • Proposed Models

 Members 


Holly Vietzke-Lynch, Chair
Jim Mealey, School Administration Christy Martin, Kittredge Elementary Michael Lis, Franklin Elementary
Laurie Arria, Sargent Elementary Chrissy Harakal, Atkinson Elementary Bill Hart, Thomson Elementary
Stan Limpert, District/Community 

 Contact Info 


North Andover Public Schools 
566 Main Street
North Andover, MA 01845
978-794-1503