Duxbury: Public forum held to discuss new junior-senior school

With the Duxbury school project only a month away from town vote, the building committee is listening to what tax-payers have to say. Tuesday night the Duxbury School Building Committee held its first open forum of the month to present the design of the new junior-senior high school and answer questions from residents.

Chair of the committee Elizabeth Lewis explained that a new joint school is necessary because of the current building conditions, “So, the issues with the middle school and high school: failing systems, aged equipment, certainly the boilers, the heating, the mechanical. There were days in January in the middle school where children would wear coats and the others would have the windows open. It gotten to the point where now the buildings are hindering how curriculum is being delivered.”

The site of the new school is located behind the current middle school and the three-floor building will include two independently existing educational wings and a shared community wing that includes a cafeteria and gym.

One concerned Duxbury resident asked Superintendent Dr. Tantillo how the $128 million project will improve education, “I’m not going to tell you that the SAT scores are going to raise 20 points because of this. But what I think you’re going to see is up-to-date learning that kids will be using techniques that people are using now in the business and scientific world.”

Superintendent Tantillo stated that students will be given iPads or MacBooks as part of the advanced technology upgrade. He also stated that designing a school for 6th to 12th graders will make the transition to high school easier and allow for peer tutoring.

Duxbury is working with the Massachusetts School Building Authority to help fund the new school and agreed to reimburse the town approximately 45% of the projected budget. The School Building Committee is planning to host two more public forums this month.

Construction is scheduled to begin next June however the project must pass two votes by the town, first at the October special town meeting and then again in November. If the article does pass, residents’ taxes will increase 11% for 25 years beginning in 2014.

About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.