If approved, the West Elementary project will provide a facility to accommodate a K-5 population that is approximately 50 percent larger than West’s current student body. The student population at West will include not only the growth in student population within its own current district, but also students redistricted from other elementary schools to relieve overcrowding at those schools and enable them to provide improved instruction. The new West Elementary School will be designed to support the educational needs of students in alignment with up-to-date pedagogy and instructional materials/equipment. It will provide BRIDGE program students, who are on the autism spectrum, with appropriate small-group and therapy spaces, and will continue to serve medically fragile children above the age of five. The building will also provide adequate meeting/office/planning space for the adults who are tasked with delivering high-quality education programs.
Another key component of this building project will simultaneously address the facility and education programming needs of the current Shawsheen special education preschool population. A specially designed wing will be attached to West Elementary to expand the district’s ability to provide an appropriate education and related services to the students now served at Shawsheen Preschool and to increase the number of such students who can be served.
The site (driveways, sidewalks, playing fields, exterior lighting, etc.) will be redesigned for safety, ADA compliance, and to support the instructional program.