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LONGMEADOW — The Longmeadow Middle School Building Committee voted to remove two potential options from consideration for the Middle School Building Project at its April 17 meeting, reducing the remaining options to five.

This decision comes after the committee previously voted to remove three other options from the original list of ten options at its April 2 meeting. These three options all involved construction of schools for only 345 students, rather than accommodating 665 students.

On April 17, the building committee voted on the options during a review of the available options by Jones Whitsett Architects Principal in Charge of Architecture Dorrie Brooks. In this session, Brooks highlighted multiple aspects of each option, including what the option would entail, any potential challenges and any benefits.

The first removed proposal, option 9, described a newly constructed middle school at Russell Field, which is located across from Longmeadow High School along Bliss Road. This construction would place the new school between the high school and Blueberry Hill Elementary School, creating potential traffic and parking concerns, Brooks said.

With this option, the Massachusetts School Building Authority would not compensate the town for demolition at Glenbrook Middle or Williams Middle, Brooks stated. Furthermore, if the town chose to rebuild the sports fields that must be removed at another location, this would also not be covered by the MSBA. These factors would “significantly” increase the project’s cost, she explained.

Similarly, the building of a new middle school at Turner’s Field described in option 10 would require additional town permissions and “will take a bit more legal effort to even vet the site as a possibility” due to its use as a municipal park and nearby wetlands, Brooks said.

In discussing these disadvantages and challenges, the building committee decided to not pursue cost estimates for either option. Of the remaining options, three involve construction at Glenbrook and two describe work at Williams.

At Glenbrook, option 1 details upgrading the 57-year-old school to meet modern code requirements, such as replacing outdated lighting, electrical, ventilation, plumbing and ceilings, as well as removing dangerous materials and setting up a generator, Brooks explained. However, this plan would not update the school to meet desired educational needs like modern science labs, she said.

Option 5 would make these same changes but would also include certain educational updates, such as improved parking and bus flow. The proposal would keep the current arts wing while adding a new gymnasium, space to the current cafeteria and a two-story building addition, Brooks said. As a result, the construction will require the temporary relocation of students to Williams and will be restricted by the maintained portions of the old building as well as current parking, Brooks stated. Williams would also be demolished.

Option 6’s completely new construction at Glenbrook Middle School would also require students to be temporarily relocated to Williams, Brooks said. Like option 9, this option would result in the needed demolition of Williams, which would not be reimbursable by the MSBA. Yet, this proposal would meet the School Department’s educational goals and allow for an optimized space for middle school students.

The options that involve 65-year-old Williams Middle School would make similar changes. Option 7 would renovate a portion of Williams while also keeping the cafeteria and auditorium of the old building, Brooks said. The site is more centrally located than Glenbrook, but this option would contain a smaller auditorium than option five or six, she stated. It would also require the demolition of Glenbrook.

Finally, option 8 describes a new construction at Williams’ current site. With its central location, sufficient parking, updated educational spaces and ability to meet the department’s goals, this option “would have the least complexity of all options studied,” according to Brooks’ presentation. Glenbrook would also be demolished.

“Here you have the advantage of that you have the phasing. You can keep students in Williams while you’re building the new [building],” Brooks highlighted. “It’s difficult but it’s possible.”

Across all options that require the relocation of students, the cost of purchasing modulars is an important consideration as neither school can currently support the populations of both schools, Brooks emphasized.

With the committee’s recent decisions, the project’s design team will only present cost estimations for the remaining five options, Brooks said. This presentation will take place at the Middle School Building Committee’s May 1 meeting.

lmason@thereminder.com | + posts