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

Ai3 ArchitectsA 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.

LETTER: Reconsider Using Moxley Field as the Site for the Temporary High School

Ai3 ArchitectsA rendering of what a two-story modular building could look like on Moxley Field. It would be the temporary location for Watertown High School while a new school is constructed. The following letter was originally sent to the School Building Committee and the Town Council:

The architectural firm working on behalf of the Watertown High School project provided the recommendation to build a temporary high school on PFC Richard Stephen Memorial Playground on Westminster Avenue. It is dedicated to our fallen hero who gave his life in Vietnam. Richie played on this field.

School Building Committee Delays Submitting High School Project, Looking Closer at Where to Put Temporary Site

Ai3 ArchitectsA rendering of what a two-story modular building could look like on Moxley Field. It could be the temporary location for Watertown High School while a new school is constructed. The submission of the Watertown High School project to the State has been delayed in an effort to look at where the temporary location of the high school will be during construction. 

The School Building Committee had been scheduled to vote on submitting the plan for the WHS project, including the use of Moxley Field as a site for a temporary school site, on Wednesday. Instead, Town Council President Mark Sideris announced the delay of the submission of the project. 

“We have a number of things we have to work out. A lot of concerns have been raised, and we believe the prudent thing to do is to continue talking, continue investigating and continue to have conversations with people to figure out the best approach that will get us a good high school and a good plan to get to that,” Sideris said. 

The proposal called for building the new high school on the current WHS, and moving the students to a temporary school made up of two-story modular classrooms at Moxley Field.

WHS Students Looking to Plant 150 Trees in Watertown, Selling Seedlings

Two types of trees are available from the Watertown High School Environmental Club, the River Birch and Eastern Redbud. The following announcement was provided by the Watertown High School Environmental Club:

The Watertown High School Environmental Club needs your help to offset school paper usage in the community! During a normal school year, WHS uses up to 1.2 million sheets of paper, which is equivalent to 150 trees. The club has teamed up with Tree-Plenish to sponsor an event in which you can purchase a sapling for $5, and opt to have volunteers plant it in your yard. Tree-Plenish’s mission is to create more sustainable schools by replenishing the environment with these lost resources. 

“As a member of the WHS Environmental Club, I am very proud to be working with Tree-Plenish to help our community,” said Cooper Petrie.

State Officials Have Questions About High School Project, May Delay Final Vote

A conceptual design of the preferred option for the New Watertown High School, looking down Common Street toward Mt. Auburn Street. The date of the public vote on funding for the Watertown High School project may have to be pushed back after state officials had questions about the size and design of the proposed new school. After reviewing the preferred design of the new WHS, the Facilities Assessment Subcommittee of the Mass. School Building Authority sent back comments, and request for more investigation into other options after their meeting on Jan.

UPDATE: Dozens of Pairs of Shoes Donated by Watertown Native, Rec. Dept. Will Distribute

Watertown native Robert Marra with Peter Centola, who was Marra’s fold coach at WHS and is now Director of Watertown’s Recreation Department. Marra donated 60 pairs of shoes to the Town, which will give them away to residents. (Updated Jan. 13, 2021 at 8:45 a.m.)

Watertown residents can get a free pair of shoes thanks to a Watertown native who wanted to help his hometown. Robert Marra works and lives in Ashland now, but he grew up in Town.

School Committee Opposes MCAS as Graduation Requirement During Pandemic

The Watertown School Committee passed a resolution opposing the graduation requirement of passing the MCAS for the Class of 2022 because the students were adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The subject came up when the School Committee considered a resolution from the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) that opposed requiring the Class of 2022 who missed the MCAS having to make up the test and pass it in order to graduate. It also called for a moratorium on high-stakes testing during the 2020-21 school year as well as the following three years. While School Committee members agreed that the pandemic adversely impacted students learning, not all agreed that the testing should be suspended for three years. The resolution was brought to the attention of the School Committee by Lily Rayman-Read, who is one of Watertown’s representatives to the MASC.