Skip to main content
Our Community

Why Now? Cushing and Hatherly Elementary School Project

Your vote matters

Inspiring, Supporting, and Challenging All Learners – Scituate’s Future

A message from William Burkhead, Superintendent of Schools

In an effort to thoroughly inform our community of the upcoming Cushing and Hatherly Elementary School project vote on April 29, 2024, I’d like to share a series of informational posts over the next few weeks leading up to the Special Town Meeting. In this post, I’d like to discuss the rationale behind the need for the new building and the “why.” 


The existing buildings do not meet the educational needs of ALL students.

  • Spaces are undersized and do not meet today’s MSBA minimums
  • Outdated, 20-year-old modular classrooms intended to last 10 years are still being used
  • The building is not ADA-compliant
  • Deficient interior, exterior, systems, accessibility, and educational conditions

The building envelope needs repair or replacement

  • Window and doors
  • Roof
  • Structural deficiencies (cracks in the exterior walls)
  • Leaks in walls and roof (potentially causing mold issues)

Mechanical systems need repair or replacement

  • Electrical systems not at current code standards
  • Plumbing not at code standards
  • Plumbing fixtures and spaces do not meet ADA accessibility standards

Investment to date

  • The $200k spent on visioning and master planning with a recommendation that resulted in a Statement of Interest with the MSBA that would then be ignored and have to be redone
  • A comprehensive demographic study has been conducted
  • $1M+ has been spent to determine the best, most cost-effective, educationally sound option (Preferred Schematic Design) based on the needs expressed by community leaders, students, teachers, parents, and school leaders would be ignored and redone.

If repeated in the future, the cost of these efforts would be significantly higher


Public schools are an integral part of the economic bedrock of our community and play a vital role in our community’s long-term growth and viability & there is a cost of deferring, including potential lost opportunities for students. 

Lost educational opportunities for students

  • The condition of learning environments dramatically impacts school climate and student outcomes
  • Learning environments must be rich in technology, sciences, and collaborative workspaces that foster creativity, communication, and critical thinking
  • Interior learning environments must be conducive for staff to execute collaborative, project-based instructional design
  • Experiences that include the arts and athletics are important components of a comprehensive educational program


This Special Town Meeting vote will determine whether or not to approve the Cushing and Hatherly Elementary School project.

  • Special Town Meeting
  • Monday, April 29, 2024 at 7 p.m.
  • Scituate High School gymnasium

For more information about this process, please do not hesitate to contact William Burkhead, Superintendent of Schools,

Learn more

Visit the Cushing and Hatherly Elementary School project page for informational videos that give a concise project overview.

Back to top