October 2018 (Volume 69, issue 1)
By Trintje Nydam, Staff Writer
1,685. That’s a big number, and it just keeps growing. In the 2017-2018 school year, there were 1,685 students in Needham High School. However, with the relatively small senior class of 2018 having left and the graduating class of 2022 having arrived, the packed halls of Needham High are even more stuffed than usual. Thus began the construction on the school.
Originally planned to be finished by the start of the 2018-2019 school year, the construction delayed the start of school. However, the expected end date of construction was supposed to be October 17. And yet, here we are.
So why such a large delay? According to Mr. Sicotte, “the original project timeline was an aggressive one” and therefore it was not “entirely surprising” that it was not finished on time, especially because of the weather problems.
The construction adds ten classrooms as well as a new main office. The space currently being used for the main office will be converted into the Pathways program. Additionally, many rooms as well as the A gym were renovated, and, according to Mr. Sicotte, the fieldhouse is being replaced with a larger building that can be used for “town-wide uses” and can provide “space for teams and equipment that use the field”.
In the next five years, NHS is expected to increase by about 150 students. Although the school will be fairly cramped in those few years, the population “will peak at around 1850 in the early 2020’s”, so the construction should address all long term concerns.
But finally, what we all want to know: the new estimated date of the end of construction. Even though “interior renovations to classrooms and offices were completed prior to the start of the year” and classes began in the extension on October 23rd, the date for the finished version is still unclear.