Facility Improvements 2022
On September 19, 2022, Superintendent Burkhead and Director of Business and Finance Bob Dutch invited members of the School Committee and Select Board to tour the school buildings and view the improvements, completed or in process, by the Scituate Public Schools. In this edition of the Thursday Thoughts Spotlight we’d like to share with our community the district's progress on our Capital projects and investments in facilities through the use of our newly created “maintenance” line item within the district budget as well as capital project funding by the Town. We appreciate and respect the Scituate community's support of our capital projects and budgets. It is important to us that our community witnesses our use of the funds and their investments in our schools through strategically budgeted and planned maintenance, ensuring our buildings will last longer and make us all proud to be part of this district.
1:1 Chromebook Rollout
Scituate Public Schools believes in providing equitable access for all students. We also prioritize student safety through the use of technology. To that end, we are transitioning from BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to 1:1. As of Fall 2022 we are fully 1:1 in grades K-10, with grades 11-12 remaining BYOD. In Fall 2023 grade 11 will be added to 1:1, and in Fall 2024 we will be fully 1:1 in grades K-12.
School Bus Fleet (19 new buses)
Scituate has historically leased buses for the transportation of students. This practice continues with the leasing of 19 new buses. The buses pictured here represent 19 of the 20 buses the district leases. We were very fortunate to take possession of the buses this summer given the significant shortages and delays in delivery.
Scituate Public Schools believes in making investments in our schools to ensure longevity of our buildings and to instill pride in our community. Investing in consistent landscape management at all schools exemplifies this goal. While landscaping is always a work in progress, all of our schools have already benefited from a commitment to investing in this easily visible improvement. This year SPS hired a professional landscape company to beautify each of our schools in preparation for the start of school.
Scituate High School
Boys and Girls Locker Rooms
There are plans for all of the locker rooms at SHS to be completely renovated. This is a significant undertaking for the school, requiring 3 separate phases to accomplish the work with minimal disruption for students and staff. In Phase 1 the boys PE locker room is being converted into two separate locker rooms, one for boys and one for girls. New entrances and exits will be added to the locker rooms increasing ease of use and accessibility for classes. Phase 1, renovating the Physical Education class lockers, is scheduled to be completed by the end of October. Phase 2, converting the girls’ PE locker room to a girls’ team locker room is next in the summer of 2023 pending approval and funding, and Phase 3, boys’ team lockers will begin the following school year, again pending approval and funding by Town Meeting.
Safety is our highest priority. In an effort to strengthen systems that improve safety, SHS has completely replaced its security camera system. The new system is used to maintain a high level of safety and security for students and staff. Data is stored in the cloud and is accessible to high school administration and the police department. The new system uses advanced technology to help manage issues should they arise and proactively address any safety concerns.
Storage Shed for the Center for the Performing Arts
In partnership with South Shore Tech, SPS will soon have a new storage shed for our Performing Arts programs. These programs are rapidly growing, so the shed, with supplies provided by SPS and construction completed by SST, will house items including scenery, props, and much more.
2nd Floor flooring to be replaced in December 2022
It is our vision to improve our learning environments each year for our students through strategic facility improvements. This December we will begin work replacing the flooring on the second floor of SHS as Phase 2 of a 3 phase project.
Paint on Exterior & Landscaping
The exterior of SHS is getting a facelift in the way of a paint job. This work is in progress, but already the improvements are evident, covering the previous green paint near the main entrance with a fresh coat of “Sailor Blue.”
Colby Cutler Fitness Center (December 2022)
An upcoming project in SHS begins December 2022 as the Colby Cutler Fitness Center gets new flooring and a drop ceiling. Along with replacing the subfloor, a new rubber floor will be installed with the “Sailor Blue” and white “S” as its centerpiece. The floor and ceiling are a part of a capital improvement project. As part of the Health and Wellness budget there is now a long term plan to replace cardio equipment on a regular basis replacing 1 or 2 machines each year.
Wampatuck Elementary School
The new portico capital project at Wampatuck is ready to welcome students and staff. Its overhang has been resized to protect people from the elements, while also providing plenty of space for vehicles to pass for drop off and pick up.
New Phone and Intercom System
We were able to completely upgrade the phone and intercom system at Wampatuck through capital monies. This allows staff to prioritize safety and it also makes access to phones and communication with families easier.
The bones of the facility of Wampatuck are good, so making improvements to the school reinforces the belief that small improvements will extend the life of the building for a long time to come. For the library floor, the maintenance budget was used to remove the existing carpet and replace it with a low maintenance vinyl floor. It has modernized the space making it a more pleasant and desirable space for student learning.
ECC Playground improvements
The ECC playground has been made even more accessible to our youngest students with new wheelchair accessible mats, modified equipment, and swings. The mats give students access all around the playground, and the modified equipment and swings provide additional recess options to students with different levels of mobility.
Parking Lot (Summer 2023)
Another capital project priority is the parking lots at Wampatuck. The entire side and back lots will be repaved in the summer of 2023. This project will improve parking, traffic flow/safety for staff and visitors, and improve drainage both of the parking lot and the playgrounds. It will also increase accessibility and safety for students as well as modernize the aesthetics of the property.
Jenkins Elementary School
The Jenkins stairs are an example of a collaborative partnership between the town, school district, and an external contractor. Originally, the stairs were wood timber and were beginning to deteriorate and become a safety concern. It was determined that they should be replaced with concrete. Assistant Director of Facilities, Bob Dillon, worked with a contractor to get them replaced over the summer. Students and staff started the school year off with the new stairs in place.
Sailor Shout Out
It is imperative that a school district sufficiently maintain its buildings and grounds to ensure that our property is well cared for, to maximize use over time, and to continue to create educational environments conducive to student learning. A Sailor Shout Out to everyone involved in making improvements to our school buildings! A special thank you to our School Committee for setting and supporting the SPS capital and maintenance plans in collaboration with the SPS leadership team. We’d also like to thank our Select Board and Town Administrator and his team for their continued support on facilities improvement and to the citizens of Scituate who have supported funding of our capital and school budgets through town meetings.