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North Suburban News

New Stoneham High School One Step Closer; Wakefield, Winchester Schools Fail to Advance

Dec 07, 2018 07:07AM ● By Dan Marra

STONEHAM – There’s just one last hurdle for Stoneham to clear before the district is eligible to get financial support from the state to build a new high school. Stoneham is one of 12 districts in the state to be invited to attend the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s (MSBA) Board of Directors meeting, scheduled to be held Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 10 a.m.

“Stoneham Public Schools are hopeful the MSBA Board will approve us moving on,” said Stoneham Superintendent John Macero. “We have been invited to attend the MSBA Board meeting on Wednesday, December 12th.”

This was the fifth year in a row Stoneham has put a request in to MSBA asking for funds to help build a new high school, a facility Macero has called a “tired building”.

The MSBA visited the district two months ago on Oct. 10 to inspect the building. And according to Macero, Stoneham had two key differences in their application to MSBA this year than the previous four - for the first time since they’ve started this application process, Stoneham has seen its enrollment numbers increase. According to Macero, the district had an increase of about 60 kids since the town updated the middle school. 

Also helping its case - Stoneham had a visit from the New England Association of High School and Colleges last year and while the district did well instructionally, the town’s accreditation was given a warning due to the current state of its high school building.

Two other local districts were not as successful in this year’s application process. Winchester was looking to continue updating its facilities after the Galvin Middle School, Ambrose, Vinson-Owen and the high school, Lynch Elementary was next on the list. While the announcement won’t be official until next week’s board meeting, it looks as though Lynch will not be moving on to the final round.

“I understand that we were not funded this year,” said Winchester Superintendent Judy Evans. “The school committee will reconsider whether to submit another SOI for Lynch in January 2019, when the window for submission opens again. We understand that there any many worthy projects that have not been funded this year.”

The same is true in Wakefield, where the town was looking at building a new high school. Wakefield Superintendent Doug Lyons said that he will wait until after the MSBA’s board meeting next week before providing any additional comments.

Outside of Stoneham, other local districts invited to attend the board meeting include Revere (high school) and Peabody (William Welch Elementary School). The rest of the invited districts can be viewed here.

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