We are the members of the Church's Stanley School Project Task Force. We would like to update you on the planned construction of a new three-story school on the site of the current Stanley School, adjacent to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lynn.
The Town of Swampscott is proposing to build a new consolidated K-4 elementary school on that site. It would have approximately 900 students (compared to 239 students now). The Town estimates that about 525 to 600 cars will drop off students each morning and pick them up again
in the afternoon (about 4 times the current number). They also anticipate about a 3 to 4-fold increase in the number of faculty and staff at this location. Much of the staff would be expected to park at a remote lot on the middle school grounds – about a quarter-mile away and walk to the new school.
The Town wants to use our back parking lot and entry drive as a one-way exit road for all school traffic during morning and afternoon drop-off/pick-up times. They would also like access through our property for parents, children, and staff members walking to and from the school from the Forest Avenue side.
Our Task Force (Doreen Hodgkin, Chair, Sarah Cecil, and Mark Vander Linden) met recently with Town representatives. For the first time since we initially heard about this project, we were given a drawing of the proposed traffic pattern through our property. Click here for a copy of the drawing. The School Building Committee has promised to provide us with a detailed plan for
its desired use of our property with its required modifications to our existing parking areas, vehicular and pedestrian access areas. We will be in a better position to evaluate the Town’s request once the Town develops the specifics of its request and shares the information with us.
The Task Force and your Board of Trustees have serious concerns about the impact of this proposal on our little "church in the woods." The Town has acknowledged some of our concerns, but remains committed to this traffic option as being the Town’s best alternative. They have said that they view our church as a valuable community resource for this neighborhood, along with
the two schools and the rail-trail.
The Town has not provided us with any formal proposal, other than to say that they would like an easement through our property, and they are open to maintaining a dialogue with us. You can find information from the Swampscott School Building Committee on their website at
We expect to have more conversations with the Town in coming months. We have engaged a lawyer and had a survey done, to determine the boundaries of the property as it exists today. We will try to keep you updated as this evolves, and you should feel free to reach out to any of us if you have questions.
Stay safe and well!
Mark Vander Linden