How will the educational environment be improved at the new Shawsheen preschool?

The proposed special education preschool wing will include spaces and features specifically designed to address the special needs of this preschool population. The spaces/features include a sensory-friendly adaptive PE room, a sensory therapy room, an occupational therapy room, and a physical therapy room—all with equipment that is size-appropriate for preschoolers. It also will include a nurse’s clinic with an accessible bathroom. On two levels as opposed to the current Shawsheen, which was built in 1923 and has five levels, the new Shawsheen will facilitate faster and safer movement of students among the special service areas.

The preschool will have its own entrance off the parking lot. The preschool wing will also include a waiting room for families and therapy space to serve the 40-50 preschool students who receive only speech and language therapy by appointment only.

The current Shawsheen Preschool has a substantial number of students in the PreK BRIDGE program who move into West’s BRIDGE program and other special education programs at kindergarten age. Connecting the PreK program to the West Elementary facility will provide a consistent and supportive environment over a period of several years and limit disruption for this particular group of students when they transition to the elementary program. It will also enable efficiency in special education service delivery among staff who can serve students PreK to grade 5. 

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1. What will the new West El/Shawsheen Preschool look like and where will it be located?
2. How will the educational environment be improved at the new West El?
3. How will the educational environment be improved at the new Shawsheen preschool?
4. What is the schedule for construction activities?
5. How will traffic circulation change during construction?
6. How will construction vehicles enter and exit the site?
7. How will people be notified of changes in traffic circulation?
8. What will the project work hours be?
9. Will play areas be relocated during construction?
10. What will happen to the playing fields behind the current West El?
11. Will there be other impacts on students’ learning environment during construction?
12. When will the new schools open?
13. What are the next steps in the MSBA process/timeline?
14. What is the project budget and what is being done to ensure that there are no cost overruns?
15. What will the tax impact be of the new West El/Shawsheen Preschool?
16. Will the project involve redistricting and, if so, when will that occur?
17. The new WESB project is described as “Net Zero Ready.” What does that mean?
18. Why wasn’t the installation of solar panels on the roof and/or in the parking areas made a part of the current construction project?
19. How much of the new West El/ Shawsheen Preschool energy needs will come from on-site sources?
20. What will happen to the existing West El facility?
21. What will happen to the existing Shawsheen facility?
22. Who are the project contractors?
23. Who serves on the West Elementary/Shawsheen School Building Committee?
24. How can I get more information about the project?