LETTER: Group of Parents Support Using Moxley as Site for Temporary High School

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Ai3 Architects A view from Columbia Street of what the new Watertown High School could look like.

Last week, the Town Manager announced that the new Watertown High School would be paid for within the confines of Proposition 2 ½, and will NOT require a debt exclusion vote by the community. This is truly an astonishing, unprecedented commitment by Watertown. Thank you to the Town Manager and the Town Council for creating this remarkable opportunity.

This is a project that will be transformative for our entire community. The School Building Committee has been working tirelessly for years to identify a site and plan. Their current proposal is to build the new Watertown High School on its current site and to use a portion of Moxley Park as swing space during the 30 months of construction. There are many important reasons for this choice: this proposal will provide the best possible educational experience for students during construction; it will minimize the construction timeline; it will create the space needed to build a state-of-the-art, 21st Century high school for Watertown; and, it will reduce overall project costs. 

Watertown has made, and continues to make, huge investments in our educational infrastructure. These investments require temporary sacrifices from abutters, students and families. We are all sharing this burden. And, we do it because the benefits far outweigh the temporary inconveniences.

The School Building Committee, town and district are working hard to mitigate concerns voiced by the Moxley Park abutters, as they have so expertly done with the other school building projects.
We thank the School Building Committee for their efforts and urge them to continue to center their decisions on the needs of students and vote in favor of this proposal. 

WPS Parents,
Kathleen Anderson
Jason Anker
Chelley Casey
Colleen Cimone
Jason Cohen
Dominique Cohen
Ellen Cross
Ed Daly
Laura Daly
Kendra Foley
Andy Finton
Colleen Gillen
Elaina Griffith
Rebecca Jacobstein
Cari MacKenzie
Scott MacKenzie
Amy Panza
Melissa Parker
Dan Parker
Lily Read
Diego Ribeiro
Chris Schupp
Rich Shea
Naomi Shea

3 thoughts on “LETTER: Group of Parents Support Using Moxley as Site for Temporary High School

  1. Which if any of you live in the Moxley neighborhood and see the daily traffic activity around the MS? There are very serious concerns about the impact that putting the HS swing space at Moxley less than 100 yards away from the MS will have on nearby residents. The logistics of moving over a thousand students, and very many teachers, faculty, and support personnel in and out of an already heavily congested area twice each day will overwhelm the nearby streets. The neighborhood is densely populated with very many multifamily homes side by side on some very narrow streets. There are many cars parked on both sides of these streets 24/7 during the non-winter months. What if the streets are gridlocked when the schools start and end? Would it be acceptable to all of you if residents could not gain access or leave their homes by car during these periods? One hour twice a day for 3 ½ years? There was no criteria column in the Committee’s site evaluation matrix chart for Neighborhood Impact Level. They looked at every other factor to choose a site and never thought to compare potential impacts to nearby neighborhoods. A single traffic observation taken once at the MS and HS sites before normal full in person school days had resumed is not a traffic study. What will happen at drop off and pick-up is unknown and no one has plans to remedy gridlock if that occurs. What will happen if traffic backs up in the mornings onto Main Street Route 20, or into the side streets and block intersections? How will the traffic move during the winter if there are heavy snows and high banks on the street? What will happen if emergency responders or the fire department need to reach a residence during the morning or afternoon rush hour? What is Plan B if Plan A fails? There has never been a convergence of so much traffic volume at any other school or construction site than there will be with this HS swing space so near to the MS. It will be pouring a bucketful into a cup. The neighborhood residence concerns are genuine.

  2. Just interested. How many who signed this letter are abutters to the Moxley Park or use it on a regular basis?

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