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Architect chosen to design Stratton renovation, modular classrooms

DRA, the Waltham-based firm that fashioned the feasibility study to renovate the Stratton School, will design the project as well as the modular buildings that will house Stratton students during the 2016-2017 school year.

Stratton sign

In an email to Stratton parents and guardians Thursday, July 2, Bodie wrote that the Permanent Town Building Committee voted this week to confirm an agreement with DRA, long involved in Arlington elementary-school projects.
HMFH Architects Inc. of Cambridge is working on a space study to help Arlington public schools plan for the best use of its facilities as enrollment grows. The report will include detailed enrollment projections by a demographer who is studying housing turnover and population shifts in Arlington.

This study will inform final decisions about the site locations and the number of modular classrooms needed for the Stratton renovation year and for additional enrollment pressures. Bodie wrote.

School officials plan to make a final decision about modular buildings in late summer or early fall.

A meeting about these issues is expected later this summer, she wrote.

The Permanent Town Building Committee plans to meet this summer. The meetings are open to the public, and meeting notices are posted here >> 

In May, about 30 came to the Stratton's cafeteriaabout 30 came to the Stratton's cafeteria to learn, suggest ideas and express comments about plans to relocate their students for a year to modular classrooms in other schools.

As the meeting of the School Committee's feasibility subcommittee stretched 40 minutes longer than scheduled, parent Leigh Panettiere got to one underlying issue: "Keep our kids out of Ottoson .... Nobody thinks this a good idea."

Subcommittee Chair Cindy Starks spoke as a teacher who has conducted classes in modular classrooms in Lexington: "I wish we had more money" to do whatever we wanted in the face of expanding enrollment, but "we have to live within the constraints the town has given us. We're all trying as hard as we can."

These positions generally reflect two of the chief sides in the debate about relocating students in 2016-17 while Stratton undergoes its long-awaited, $12 million renovation.

May 27, 2015: Questions from Stratton parents reflect relocation stress

May 7: Steps taken to move toward modular classes, and much to learn quickly

April 13, 2015: OPINION: Not Ottoson, Stratton parents ask

March 30, 2015: Modular classroom sites ID'd for Stratton students during 2016-17 renovation

March 22, 2015: Stratton School renovation moves forward; students to be relocated in 2016-17

Sept. 21, 2014: At last, study spells out steps for Stratton revamp, if it can be funded

Links to Stratton plans 

This report was published Thursday, July 2, 2015.

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