The request to renovate – or replace – Watertown High School, will have to wait at least another year after school officials were told their project was passed over by the state.
Last spring, the Watertown Public Schools submitted a Statement of Interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority requesting state support in renovating or rebuilding the high school.
The original part of the the building was built in 1924 and 1925 and there were additions in the 1950s and in 1979. There were also some renovations and a small addition in 2004.
Superintendent Jean Fitzgerald told the School Committee Monday night that the project had not been selected as one of the projects to be funded by the MSBA.
She plans to be ready for next year.
“They will open next year’s process in January,” Fitzgerald said. “We will review (the application) and see if any changes are needed.”
School Committee member John Portz wondered if state officials indicated any weaknesses in Watertown’s application.
“They didn’t say,” Fitzgerald said.
The superintendent said the next application might stress how the school is already overcrowded.
“It was built to house many more children, but in a very different way,” Fitzgerald said. “We will rephrase it.”
Schools today have smaller classes and have rooms dedicated to computer labs and other resources.
An optimistic Fitzgerald said she hopes somehow the money will find its way to Watertown this year.
“I hope someone will say we don’t want the money and they will give it to us,” Fitzgerald said. “It does happen.”
(This post was updated on Jan. 7 at 11 a.m. The date that Watertown High School was built was corrected)