What About 40B & Other Residential Development?
Thinking back to the Master Plan development from 2016 to 2017, some expected projects have finally moved forward. While the largest and most concerning developments-- such as the 300+ unit Holton Street project-- fizzled out, others like River Street have come into the pipeline and are well under way. Housing development is happening in Winchester and it is bringing more students into our district.
I'm excited for these kids. They are going to get a great education here, but we have to be sure we have the spaces and resources for them. The good news is that with the recent expansion at McCall Middle School, we have space to handle a reasonable growth factor. And though Winchester High School remains tight on space (not as much as 3 years ago), the New Lynch school is going to accommodate not just the kids displaced over the past three years, but our projected neighborhood growth including increases due to residential development.
In partnering with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) on the Lynch project, I've had the opportunity to work with our Town Planner, Town Engineer, Assessor and Building Commissioner to make strong cases for school capacity in Winchester. Our collective careful planning and thoughtful data collection have no doubt made an impression on the MSBA, as they have been receptive to "counting" a number of projects as likely even though shovels are not yet in the ground. For an idea of how projects of varying sizes impact enrollment, take a look at the memo, attached.