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May 2023: Community Input Survey

Thank you for your interest and participation.  This survey closed on May 23, 2023

Dedham’s Oakdale (121 years old), Riverdale (102 years old), and Greenlodge (68 years old) Elementary Schools are aging facilities that present challenges in educating all students effectively and the costs associated with running and maintaining the actual physical plants. All three school buildings will need to be replaced in the years ahead.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) is a state agency that provides significant financial support to cities and towns to replace or repair school buildings. The MSBA has agreed to partner with Dedham to assist in the construction of a single school which could replace up to two elementary schools. The replacement project must include the Oakdale school and can include either Riverdale or Greenlodge in a consolidation.

It is important that all Dedham residents understand the broad educational and financial considerations associated with the replacement of three school facilities in the years ahead. It is also important that the Dedham School Committee and the School Building and Rehabilitation Committee understand the perspectives and opinions of residents when making decisions about new school buildings.

The School Committee and the SBRC kindly ask that you take a few minutes to review the following information and answer a few questions.

Educational Considerations

  • Our new school facility should enhance teaching practices and learning for all.

  • Our new school facility should encourage ensure access for all students and members of the community. 

  • A combined school puts more professional resources under one roof. This improves professional learning and collaboration which have a direct impact on student support and learning. 

  • A combined school localizes specialized educational services and resources for students in need. 

  • A combined school provides greater flexibility in absorbing enrollment fluctuations over time and formulating class configurations that are optimized for learning. 

  • A larger, combined school enhances continuity of learning experiences for children across the district and supports learning efficiencies as children proceed to middle school. 

Financial Considerations

  • Oakdale, Riverdale, and Greenlodge are aging, costly to run and maintain, and will need to be replaced in the years ahead. 

  • The cost of materials and labor increase approximately 5% per year. The cost of new school buildings in 5 years will be 25 - 30% greater than today and in 10 years will be 55-60% greater than today. 

  • The MSBA will reimburse up to 45-50% of eligible costs (subject to MSBA cost caps) to design and build one new school that could replace up to two of our existing schools. 

  • Energy costs have increased substantially and will continue to escalate in the future. Sustainable and efficient facilities will reduce operational costs to the Town. 

  • Repairing and maintaining aging facilities is expensive and costs will escalate as buildings age. 

  • Renovations of existing buildings are more expensive than new construction and are more disruptive to student learning.