BUILDING COMMITTEE

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...

Minutes:

June 2017 Minutes

July 2017 Minutes

August 2017 Minutes

May 2018 Minutes 

 

August 2018 Minutes

 

October 2018 Minutes

 

November 2018 Minutes

 

January 2019 Minutes   

 

March 2019 Minutes

May Meeting Agenda

June 2019 Minutes   

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FEASIBILITY 

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.

Feasibility Documents:

Feasibility Study FAQ's

Feasibility Information 2018

Feasibility Study Guidelines

Project Manager's Report January

Project Manager's Report February

Agenda Charter

Project Schedule

Current Known Issues At Dexter

Visioning Workshop #1

Dexter Improvements Facebook

Community Meeting 

Development Options Overview

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.

P.O. Box 680
507 South Main Street,
Orange, MA 01364
(978) 544-6763

DEXTER PARK

3 Dexter Street Extension
Orange, Massachusetts 01364
(978) 544-6080

SUPERINTENDENT

FISHER HILL

 59 Dexter Street
Orange, Massachusetts 01364
(978) 544-0018