News Stories, School News

School Committee Members Push Back Against Idea of Merging Fox Hill and Pine Glen

A discussion about the proposed Fox Hill project lead to an exchange about the viability of combining two elementary schools.

As reported on BNEWS, the Burlington School Department has submitted an application to the Massachusetts School Building Authority for funds to replace Fox Hill Elementary and the application has cleared the first round of the process.

One option that was raised early on was the possibility of combining the Fox Hill and Pine Glen students into one building at the Fox Hill site. This possibility raised concerns among members of the community with children in both schools and people in the Fox Hill neighborhood.

On Tuesday Superintendent Eric Conti and Director of Operations Bob Cunha outlined the plans to move forward with hiring a Owner’s Project Manager and setting up a school building committee to evaluate the project as a whole with this option included. They argued that no options should be left on the table this early in the process.

Some members of the School Committee, most notably Christine Monaco and Martha Simon, argued that the decision of whether to merge the two schools should be made earlier and before bringing in a full committee. Monaco said that if the committee decided to make the call that night she was ready to vote.

“I mean I think it’s such a bad idea I wouldn’t be talking about it if I had the choice,” she said. “The school would be way too big, there would be too much traffic in the neighborhood, and I don’t understand why we’re pursuing it. Martha and I don’t always agree on everything but we certainly agree on this one. As far as I’m concerned this is a Fox Hill project and Pine Glen will be a separate project.”

The School Committee will continue to discuss the project at future meetings.