One of the ongoing discussions for the new elementary school building project has been the enrollment size for a new building, and expanding the scope of the project to more than just simply replacing the aging and outdated South Elementary School. A school with a smaller design enrollment would just focus on building a new South School, and a school with a larger design enrollment would allow for the District to have more students attend the new school and consolidate the number of elementary school buildings in town from the current number of five to four. The School Committee voted on July 26 to support the larger enrollment plan.
As part of this vote, the South Elementary School, along with the Wilkins Elementary School were determined to be the schools that would be closed when the new elementary school opens. The Wilkins School is the next elementary school prioritized for replacement, and consolidating the number of elementary schools will allow the District to determine how best to repurpose the Wilkins School. Building a larger school will also present long-term cost savings for the town, as opposed to having to construct two separate new elementary school buildings.
This plan will also involve the eventual redistricting and re-drawing of the current elementary school district boundaries, rebalancing the number of students attending each school and reducing pockets of overcrowding. Therefore, each elementary school - the new school, along with the Dawe, Gibbons, and Hansen - will be able to more effectively educate all of our students.
This project is still years away from completion, so consolidation and redistricting will not take place until fall of 2027. Students will remain at the school they currently attend until then. However, in order to move forward in the planning process, a decision needed to be made for the new building’s enrollment at this time.
"After reviewing all the options, the School Committee feels strongly that the new consolidated elementary school is the best choice for the students and town of Stoughton, and we are excited for the opportunities this will allow the District to pursue," School Committee Chair Katherine Weiss said.
For more information about the new elementary school building project, please visit the project website.