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Future of Milford High and Stacy Middle Schools; Focus of Community Forums

Milford Public School officials will be seeking input from the community on the future of the district's school buildings.

After a Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee was formed last year to develop recommendations for future new construction, renovation, and major capital repair projects, the district now plans to ask for feedback from the community as to what they would like to see for their town.

"We want to get feedback from the community and then go to the Boards of Selectmen and Finance Committees to talk about the time line and the ability to absorb a major project like this," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kevin McIntyre, talking next steps at a February 28 School Committee Meeting.

The Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee found the highest priorities for the district in terms of facilities needs were 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 back in October.

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 at the

same meeting. "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.

According to the Long-Range Planning Committee, there were a few options – to consider a high school/middle school "complex" on either the existing MHS site or somewhere else in town, or to keep with the existing two-building structure and either rebuild or renovate the buildings at their existing sites. Options would have to be vetted out through a Feasibility Study done by an outside contractor before presenting any decisions to the town.

But prior to that, the district would first have to put in a "Statement of Interest" into the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to request partial funding for any project. "There are challenges to the MSBA process... sometimes it could take a district 2-5 years before they are approved," said McIntyre.

Once a district is approved by the MSBA, however, they would need to get final approval from the town within the year to fund a new construction or renovation project. The Presentations/Community Forums are scheduled for March 11 at 10:30 a.m. at the Milford Senior Center, and March 19 at the Pine St. Baptist Church Building, 41 Pine St. at 6:30 p.m. in Spanish only and at 7:30 p.m. in Portuguese only. For those who can not attend the forums, the district will be developing an online survey asking key questions about the future of the school district buildings.


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