ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
The Orange School Building Committee was formed in 2015 and revised in June 2017 after Orange was voted into the eligibility period for an elementary school building project a second time.
The role of the Orange School Building Committee includes:
Disseminating information about the elementary school building project to the community
Providing necessary information to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) throughout all phases of the project
Making thoughtful project design decisions on a new or renovated elementary school...
May 2018 Minutes
August 2018 Minutes
October 2018 Minutes
November 2018 Minutes
January 2019 Minutes
March 2019 Minutes
May Meeting Agenda
June 2019 Minutes
The Dexter Park School feasibility study is a requirement of the MSBA Grant Program in order to qualify for
state-funded reimbursement for any future building project. It is the first step in determining the long-term solution
for the school. Included is an analysis of the educational program, an initial space summary, an evaluation of existing
conditions, and a preliminary evaluation of all alternatives.
Project Manager's Report January
Project Manager's Report February
Current Known Issues At Dexter
Visioning Workshop #1
Dexter Improvements Facebook
Development Options Sorting Chart
May Project Update
Draft PK-6 Space Summary
Draft PK-2 Space Summary
Draft 3-6 Space Summary
June Informational Meeting
Preliminary Design Program Submission
Proposed Building Options
Building Option K.1
Final Project Timeline
BUTTERFIELD SCHOOL CLOSURE
The decision to close a school is anguishing, especially a school with Butterfield’s rich and storied history. It profoundly affects parents, neighborhoods, the community, personnel and, of course, our students. It further affects relationships, routines and cherished spaces. The decision to close the Butterfield School, amidst the circumstances of declining enrollment and economic necessity, was a prudent one, yet still painful.
First and foremost, it is important to remember that there were many factors to consider in our collective decisionmaking
process. In May 2014, the Selectboard urgently requested that the school department reduce their FY15 operating budget to alleviate pressure on the overall town budget, and made the recommendation to consolidate three buildings into two. At the time of the request, the School Committee was aware that student enrollment had declined by nearly 20% in the last five years and that future projections calculated that the population would continue to dip through 2020, and then remain flat. With the direction of the School Committee, the school department quickly inventoried the capacity and conditions of both the Dexter Park and Butterfield Schools. The uniqueness of the educational programs at each site were of consideration, as well as identified environmental/safety concerns and the potential for cost savings.
The Dexter Park School was identified as the optimal site for consolidation due to a variety of factors. First of all, it had significantly
more classrooms with a larger educational square footage. Dexter Park has 22 classrooms compared to 15 classrooms available at
Butterfield. Butterfield’s average class size is 671 square feet compared to Dexter Park’s 759 square feet. Two additional grade levels of students simply could not fit into the Butterfield School. The Dexter Park School also afforded ample off street parking, was completely handicap accessible, has a full service kitchen and its proximity to Fisher Hill provided opportunities for various kinds of educational collaboration and sharing.
Fiscally, the consolidation into Dexter Park School resulted in the reduction of eight positions. Additionally, the District was able to
reduce maintenance and utility costs by combining schools. The combined personnel and infrastructure cost savings resulted in a
$294,464 reduction to the Orange Elementary school budget in Fiscal Year 2015. With fewer dollars being spent on administration and operations, the district has been able to better align budgetary needs with strategic initiatives, such as supplemental programming for students at risk of failure and growing the number of three and four year old’s served in the preschool.
The Butterfield School is a treasure for the Orange community and houses a myriad of memories for its townspeople. It’s an attractive and historical structure and a source of neighborhood pride. The Dexter Park School (1955), despite its appearance, was determined to have more educational capacity and, therefore, selected for consolidation. Under the leadership of Principals Haggerty and Dodge over the last two years, this grade 3-6 school fosters a sense of wellbeing and pride for both staff and students and has had an immediate and significant impact on student learning.