WPS School Building Project

Walpole is currently working on a proposed solution to the aging middle school buildings. We are fortunate that Massachusetts has an agency, known as the MSBA (Massachusetts School Building Authority), that supports local school districts. In 2018, Walpole was accepted into the program for consideration of either the Bird Middle School alone or for the combination of both middle schools. Since then, a project manager, Compass Inc. and an architectural firm, Tappe, have been hired to advise. The MSBA process will reimburse Walpole for 48% of eligible costs. Another requirement from the MSBA is that multiple options, including renovating, adding/renovating and new construction be considered. This is the work that is currently underway and will be vetted over the next few months, with the goal of deciding on a Preferred Option in February of 2021.
Both the Bird and Johnson Middle Schools are over 50 years old, having been built in the 1960's. Since then the community has grown greatly. The student enrollment grew by 26% between 1985 and 2000 and then an additional 11% during the next 10 years. In the early and mid-1990's, the Town and the School Committee developed plans to meet this growing need for school space. Many possibilities were considered, and in the end, it was decided to build an addition at Walpole High School, purchase the Elm Street property for an elementary school, add space and renovate Boyden and Elm Street Schools, and relocate the 5th graders from the middle schools into elementary buildings. In this solution, additional space was created for students of all grades, without the need for a construction project at the middle school level. Now, twenty years later, the middle schools are in need of either a major renovation or replacement.
In Walpole, the cost of a project of this size will require a debt-exclusion override to pay the cost not covered by the MSBA. But thankfully, this additional cost will coincide with some other debt expiring. Over the next few months, the School Committee, the School Building Committee and other Town Boards will work to determine the best educational and cost effective solution to this problem, along with input from the Community. Much more information about this project can be found below. Questions should be sent to Middle School Project questions. -Nancy Gallivan, School Committee Chair

Project Update Archives

BMS Tour March 2020

Community Forum November 24, 2020

Walpole MS Project - Project Info Summary Flyer - FINAL.pdf

Project Information Summary

Monthly Report - Walpole BMS - 2020-10.pdf

Compass Monthly Project Report - October

11/4/2020 SBC Report.pdf

SBC Report - 11/2020

The MSBA has prepared detailed modules which outline the process and policies for each of the steps mentioned above. For an overview of these modules, click here.

This link will bring you to the MSBA site.