CPS, along with concerned parents of school age children in Charlestown, met with Superintendent Brenda Cassellius on February 7, 2020. We thank Dr. Cassellius for her time and quick response to our concerns about the future of the Edwards School. She confirmed that they are weighing all of the options and that DEMOLITION/New Build IS one of the options on the table. In the fall of 2020, they will eliminate the incoming 6th grade and after school gets out in the summer of 2021, there are no plans for the use of the building.
CPS stressed that:
- This historic building is an IMPORTANT CULTURAL RESOURCE in the community; generations of residents have attended and are deeply tied to the building and its population.
- Renovation is the MOST EFFICIENT option for creating capacity for more seats at top performing schools.
- Renovation is the GREENEST option, diverting many tons of waste from our landfills and reducing the impact on neighboring residences. Charlestown is overwhelmed by construction projects for the next 10-15 years; a new build of a school would suffocate us.
CPS has asked for—and the Superintendent agreed to provide us with—a copy of the feasibility study that was performed on the building 3-4 years ago. We will consult with preservation architects on the findings. The budget that was just released includes funds for a new feasibility study to be performed for the Edwards School. This study will inform a decision on the fate of the Edwards School building.
Dr. Cassellius stressed that the community will have input on the decisions made around its education needs and building. It is important that we continue to advocate for renovation—the most efficient, greenest and responsible treatment of the Edwards Middle School building.
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