Download a printable fact sheet here.
- Brookline schools are overcrowded and the Driscoll school building is at the end of its life. To address both of these issues, Brookline will hold a Town-wide special election on December 10, 2019, to seek voter approval of a new, larger building to house the Driscoll School. We urge everyone to vote YES!
- The new Driscoll building would be sized to educate about 750 students in grades K-8 plus 50 pre-kindergarten students - an increase of about 200 students over the current school, relieving overcrowding at other schools across town.
- Students would continue to attend school in the existing building during adjacent construction of the new one (scheduled completion late 2022), and then they would move to the new building, and the old building would be demolished and turned into outdoor playground/green space around the new building.
- The Driscoll School Building Committee closely considered whether to renovate or build new, and decided to build new for several reasons.
- A renovation + expansion of the building was examined closely and estimated to be MORE expensive than building new.
- Building new allows the students to remain in the current Driscoll building while the new one is built. This saves money, allows the project to go faster, and lets families continue to walk to school.
- The new building would be Fossil Fuel Free for our climate future.
- Building new allows us to increase the playspace on the property by 34% (24,500 square feet), a benefit for the community and the students who attend Driscoll.
- The proposed project will increase property tax bills by 3.5% of the current value.
- The median single-family home tax bill would increase by approximately $435/year.
- The median condominium unit tax bill would increase by approximately $140/year.
- The median commercial property tax bill would increase by approximately $1,067/year.
- Driscoll-4 is just the next significant piece of the Town-wide school capacity solution. Build Brookline’s Future is committed to supporting not only the Driscoll-4 project but also the renovation and expansion of Pierce (partially funded by state money) and such other projects as are needed to fully meet North Brookline and South Brookline capacity needs.
- The project cannot proceed further without voter-approved funding. Thus, if voters were to reject the ballot question on December 10th, Town and PSB leaders would have to start working on alternative plans for Driscoll and for Town-wide elementary school capacity.
- Regarding the schools operating budget deficit: Even when operating budgets are tight, it’s important to continue to rebuild our school facilities before they become so severely degraded that they require extensive annual maintenance that exacerbates our budget woes, or worse, can no longer be used. We are at this point with Driscoll: the current HVAC system is so aged that should it fail before a new school is built, it will require a multi-million dollar emergency heating system replacement, or the school will be unusable. Brookline voters have shown clear understanding of the need to fund simultaneous capital projects and operating budgets; in May 2015 Brookline overwhelmingly approved an operating override AND the debt exclusion for the then-Devotion School renovation, and again in May 2018 for the operating budget + BHS. The operating budget deficit obviously needs to be addressed and may require voters to consider a separate tax override but that is not a reason to forgo voting yes on Driscoll. Build Brookline’s Future is committed to supporting our schools' operating and capital needs.