Summary of the Lexington Overcrowding Issue

We would like to update the Hastings community about the latest discussions and key meetings among Town Committees such as School Committee, Board of Selectmen, Appropriation Committee, and Capital Expenditures Committee as it relates to a new Hastings. This document outlines the design, engineering, and architectural services for plans and specifications for several school capital expenditures, including Hastings, and what you can do to help.

Government process thus far:  

  • In December 2014, the School Committee requested that the Board of Selectmen call a Special Town Meeting to ask for funds for a design study for several school projects.
  • The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously in January to call a Special Town Meeting to take place on March 23, 2015.
  • In late February, the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Appropriation Committee, and Capital Expenditures Committee drafted a “consensus document” to summarize the position of the Lexington Budget Summit (Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Appropriation Committee, and Capital Expenditures Committee) regarding Article 2 of the March 2015 Special Town Meeting #1. The latest version of this can be found here:
  • The “consensus document” outlines the group’s desire to pursue large brick-and-mortar projects at Hastings and Diamond, and to only pursue brick-and-mortar projects at Fiske or Clarke should the larger two projects not provide sufficient capacity.  While Clarke and Fiske projects would be considered during feasibility work, they would be backup options for down the road.

March 23rd Special Town Meeting: the School Committee will present the need for the design study funds, ~$4 million, based on increasing enrollment numbers, status of building function, and the specific programs to be kept running.

  • Design study funds are needed to assess whether or not the proposed school projects can move forward into construction. For example, the study results will tell us whether or not the land behind Hastings can support a new and bigger school, by testing the soil and landscape.
  • In addition to the study of the Hastings site, the $4 million in design study funds would also cover things like the location of a standalone pre-K program and/or whether it could be added to a new Hastings or some other location, prefabricated classrooms at Bridge, Bowman, Fiske, Clarke, and Diamond, a brick and mortar project at Diamond, and potential brick and mortar projects at Fiske and Clarke.
  • In order to pass the appropriation of funds in Special Town Meeting, ⅔ of Town Meeting must vote in favor (there are 189 town meeting members total). This $4 million is a portion of the total estimated cost of over $100 million to complete construction of all of the proposed school projects mentioned above. No matter which projects will be eventually built, funding for a feasibility study will need to be spent.

Once the design study is completed:

  • Projects are chosen by the School Committee, and costs are finalized.
  • A special election for town voters will be needed in the fall or early winter to approve a debt exclusion to pay for the building projects.

MSBA funding assistance for rebuilding Hastings:

  • The Statement of Interest for Hastings submitted last year (2014) to the MSBA was not accepted.
  • Later this month, the superintendent will re-submit another SOI for a request in assistance to rebuild Hastings based on 3 priorities:
    • Elimination of existing severe overcrowding (both town wide and within the school – MSBA does not consider the modulars at Hastings in their calculations of existing space);
    • Replacement, renovation, or modernization of school facility systems;
    • Replacement of or addition to obsolete buildings in order to provide a full range of programs consistent with state and approved local requirements.
  • MSBA will decide at the end of 2015 or early 2016 if Hastings will be included in its state-assistance projects.
  • If the MSBA approves Hastings, the town will decide whether or not to accept their offer with assistance. If the town accepts the state’s assistance, the town would be required to build a new Hastings on the state’s timeline and size recommendations. This process can take at least 2 years longer than if the town funds Hastings alone without state assistance.
  • At the March 23rd Special Town Meeting mentioned above, the School Committee, the Board of Selectmen, the Appropriation Committee, and the Capital Expenditures Committee are recommending that the town approve the design, engineering, and architectural services for these projects before we find out if Hastings gets state assistance late this year. These studies will need to be done whether Hastings is accepted into the state program or not.
Concerned parents can do the following:


Thank you for taking the time to become informed and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact PTA Presidents Sharon Musto and Lin Jensen or Hastings Site Council Parent Chair Dan Strollo as noted below.

Sharon Musto

Lin Jensen

Dan Strollo

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