A key item being presented at Town Meeting is funding for engineering and design work for an expansion project at Needham High School. Needham High was originally constructed for a student population of 1,450, however, the forecasted student population averages 1,650 students for the next 10+ years. This higher enrollment puts tremendous pressure on classroom and common spaces. A detailed memo about the need for additional space at Needham High School is available on the NPS website.
The original Warrant Article asked for $500,000 to study the expansion of the cafeteria and the addition of 6,500-8,000 square feet of classroom and related space. However, due to reluctance by the Town's Finance Committee to support a classroom expansion, and the School Committee's desire to immediately move ahead with as much of this project as possible, an amendment will be proposed at Town Meeting to ask for just $150,000 to fund design and engineering work for a cafeteria expansion.
Even though the funding request for a study of how best to add additional classroom space at Needham High was removed, Superintendent Gutekanst and the School Committee still believe adding additional classrooms to NHS is a critical issue. CNS will provide updates on the High School building project as it progresses.
The need for classroom and related spaces at Needham High has been discussed at several School Committee meetings, and additional background information on this project is available in the March 17th School Committee Packet (Needham High School Design Update).