Why We Need a New School
The David Mindess Elementary School was constructed in 1954 as an elementary school and then converted to a high school in 1956. The layout and class sizes are no longer appropriate for elementary students. The school has undergone some renovations, most recently in 1995. However, the school is not fully ADA compliant. The school has also seen tremendous water intrusion over the years, making parts of the building unusable. In addition, the David Mindess School has seen tremendous growth in population. The school capacity for students is around 590, and currently we have 647 students.
Partnering with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) allows us to address all of the Mindess School’s building deficiencies comprehensively at half the cost. If we were to address some of the more significant building issues piecemeal, none of the costs would be reimbursed; the Town would incur all costs associated with becoming ADA compliant, upgrading the electrical system, providing fire suppression systems, replacing the HVAC system, addressing the issue of groundwater permeating the foundation, and, if necessary, housing students in alternative venues while repairs are made.
Building a new Mindess is the most cost-efficient option, and one that would provide Ashland with a larger school to accommodate its growing student population.