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School’s Long Range Plans Focus on Changes Needed at Stacy and MHS

Milford School officials presented the findings of the Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee to the School Committee on October 25, noting the needs at many of the district schools, especially Milford High School and Stacy Middle School.

The Long-Range Education Facilities Committee was formed to develop a plan and recommendations for future new building, renovation, and major capital projects.

"We are seeing education shifting toward student-centered instruction, focused exploration and preparation for college and careers, and technology supporting learning playing a major role," said Superintendent Dr. Kevin McIntyre. "That's what the group kept in mind when developing this plan."

The Committee took a look at the needs in the district and how the physical layout of a school can effect education.

"We have seen how a building has

impacted teaching and learning," said McIntyre, citing the new state-of-the-art Woodland Elementary School building.

"[Woodland] has created new opportunities for leaning and collaboration because of the way learning spaces were planned and designed throughout the building," he said. "Any time you walk through Woodland, every space is being utilized. It creates a special dynamic in the school."

Highest on the list for facilities needs is Milford High School (MHS) and Stacy Middle School.

"We are busting at the seams at Stacy Middle and Milford High School," commented Assistant Superintendent Craig Consigli. "The space issues at Stacy is alarming."

Milford High School, which was built

in 1971, is not only costly to maintain and repair due to its age, it also lacks important educational spaces such as science and technology labs.

"This directly effects our students," said

MHS Principal John Otlin. "We can't provide high quality science education in non-lab classrooms."

Otlin also stated that with over 25 percent of students going directly into the workforce after high school, the school is not offering enough programs for students to learn "high value skills" for the labor market.

"Right now, our programs are not

built for career readiness at Milford High School," he said. "We need programming that we don't have today, and we can't put that programming in place until we have

a significant expansion in the number of science labs and technical classroom spaces."

At Stacy, which was built in 1900 and saw its last major renovation in 1994, school officials said that HVAC and electrical updates, parking lot issues, and necessary door and window replacements are equal

to the need for additional instructional spaces that are designed to meet 21st century learning.

There are two ways to look at moving forward, according to the Long-Range

Planning Committee. The first is to consider a high school/middle school "complex" option. To combine MHS and Stacy into one building – either on the site of the current MHS or somewhere else in town. The second option is to keep with the existing two-building structure and either rebuild or renovate the buildings at their existing sites.

Timing for either project wouldn't begin until at least 2023, if approved, giving the Committee plenty of time to meet with town officials and hold community forms to garner support.

McIntyre said that the Committee will continue to work on finalizing the Long- Range Educational Facilities Plan this school year and visit with other school districts across the state that have done similar building projects before providing a statement of interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to request partial funding for any project.


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