SCHOOL BUILDING PROJECT UPDATES
WILDWOOD EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
UPDATES SEPTEMBER 2023
The content of this newsletter is generated by the Superintendent of Schools and is designed to help keep informed our community on the developments associated with our Wildwood School Building project.
The Town of Wilmington and Wilmington Public Schools have partnered with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to consider options to replace the Wildwood Early Childhood Center that may include new construction or school consolidation. The input of our community throughout this process is important as we seek to shape the future of education in Wilmington for decades to come.
To stay up to date on the Wildwood building project, check out the website, Wildwood Building Project, for information on all reports, presentations and project information.
It has been quite a journey!
In the spring of 2020, I recommended to the School Committee, Select Board and Town Manager that WPS submit letters of interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for our six (6) elementary schools. After a year serving as the Superintendent, at the time it was abundantly clear to me that:
- While well maintained by the Town, all of our schools represented significant repair and renovation needs
- That all of our elementary schools do not provide appropriate physical spaces to support the current needs of teaching and learning
- The Wildwood Early Childhood Center represented the building with the most significant infrastructure needs
This effort in 2020 ultimately led to our community’s invitation into the state’s school building program for the Wildwood. In short, the MSBA agreed - we have a lot of school buildings in need of urgent attention led by the Wildwood, which emerged as our priority school.
What a journey it has been since the submission of those applications. We made our way through a pandemic, and then contended with the unexpected emergency closure of the Wildwood Early Childhood Center.
This week marked two significant milestones:
- The full completion of the interim Wildwood School, now located at the middle school and West Intermediate and
- The launch of our educational visioning, which will serve as the foundation for what the Wildwood building project becomes
It has been a journey to get here….and we have a long road to go until a new school is hopefully opening its doors to future generations of Wilmington students, but we are on our way!
‘New’ Wildwood Early Childhood Center Opens For Learning
As the various other possible options emerged to temporarily house the Wildwood student, staff and programs, last winter it became clear to our administration that we needed a better interim solution that would support our students, staff and families until a new school could be built.
The Wildwood @ Carter Lane campus opened for students in early September and the spaces look great! Classrooms from the Wildwood are divided between the West Intermediate School and the middle school, providing for close proximity to support sharing of resources, staff, etc.
The newly created age-appropriate restrooms are finalized this week and now the space is complete. Thanks to the residents of the Town and our elected officials that helped support the financial resources necessary, this project will serve our Wildwood School well through the next five (5) years until a new school opens its doors.
The Vision For Our Future
In many ways, this week marked the official beginning of our planning for the new school. Our Design team for the Wildwood project, Dore + Whittier, has worked closely with our district leaders to create multiple meetings in September and October to gather the thoughts, ideas and perspectives of stakeholders to generate our community’s vision for education at the elementary school level.
I am thrilled by the level of response that we received from the invitations sent out to our community to get involved in this work. Every single member of the community who expressed an interest in getting involved in these discussions has been able to join with close to 50 students, parents/guardians, community members and school and district leaders (highlighted below).
Our first meeting took place on September 19. All of the information that is generated from these sessions will be compiled into a report that will be shared with the community.
Throughout this project, there will be numerous opportunities for members of the community to become informed about the developments associated with the new school.
Please stay tuned for further information.