Wakefield - When Wakefield learned at the end of November that the Massachusetts School Building Authority had denied its funding requests for priority projects at three of the town’s public schools, many people were disappointed, to say the least. And though the needs are great at the Galvin and the high school, nowhere is funding for repairs and improvements needed more than at the Greenwood Elementary School, built in 1897 and housing 278 students in grades K-4.
At a cost between $15 and $16 million, the systems that need attention include roofing, HVAC, electrical distribution, plumbing, fire alarm system, technology and accessibility.
Wakefield, along with Melrose and Saugus, is one of 11 communities north of Boston that submitted proposed school projects but are not in the mix for the first wave of potential funding by the state School Building Authority. (Seven others did make the cut.) The authority categorized the projects submitted from these towns in the “hold” or “planning” stages, meaning that it may be a while before state money is available.
Following a Dec. 20 walk through at the school with representatives from the school and finance committees, principal Deborah Collura, Superintendent Joan Landers and the candidates for state representative, state Sen. Richard Tisei wrote a letter to the Massachusetts School Building Authority executive director Katherine Craven asking the authority to release state funds to pay for renovations and an addition to the Greenwood.
Thought Wakefield High was in bad shape? Read what Greenwood's like.
Although the building itself is structurally sound, Tisei noted that “teachers and administrators are trying to educate 21sth century students in a 19th century facility that was constructed 111 years ago and does not conform to today’s educational standards.”
“Climate control is a major problem,” Tisei wrote. “During the winter months, the heat must constantly be turned off and on throughout the day for proper temperature regulation, leaving some classrooms very cold and others extremely warm, and creating uncomfortable conditions for both students and teachers that are not conducive to learning.”