December 10, 2019
Brookline voters overwhelmingly voted YES today in support of the Driscoll School building project, supporting the project by a resounding 59 to 41% with a 17.7% turnout, higher than two of the past four May elections.
The proposed project would build a new, larger, fossil-fuel-free school on the Driscoll site in Washington Square, adding capacity for at 150 more pre-K through 8th grade students than the current, worn out Driscoll building is holding.
The campaign committee that supported the referendum on the debt exclusion, Build Brookline’s Future, was supported by a broad coalition of hundreds of donors, volunteers and endorsers from across town, speaking to the organizing committee’s vision of the Driscoll vote as a unity campaign for Brookline.
Said Build Brookline’s Future co-chair and School Committee member David Pearlman: “This victory serves as a reaffirmation of our town’s commitment to excellence in public education. It marks a significant step toward alleviating our overcrowding, and it provides our children with 21st century facilities to learn, create, discover, and play.”
Driscoll parent and campaign strategist Scott Ananian reaffirmed this commitment, noting “Our work is not yet done — we chose the name Build Brookline’s Future because we are committed to working on behalf of ALL of our schools. Driscoll will be the next step, but I look forward to continuing this work on Pierce, South Brookline, and our other school projects and budgets, until our all students’ needs are addressed.”
The Driscoll School project is the first of several school capital projects that Brookline will embark on in the near future to address its facilities needs, including the Pierce School project, which has been accepted into the state funding partnership program and is expected to be voted on in May 2021, and future projects to address school capacity issues, particularly in South Brookline. Brookline has undergone dramatic enrollment increases in recent years, which has accelerated the need for facility improvements and expansions to accommodate the larger student body.
Following today’s successful vote, the Driscoll School Building Committee will reconvene to oversee the project through the construction document and construction phases. Heather Hamilton, Build Brookline’s Future co-chair and Select Board member, and co-chair of the Driscoll School Building Committee said “As co-chair of the school building committee for this project, I am excited to get back to work and see how we can address many of the concerns that were brought up through the campaign. We need to balance the need for capacity against cost.”
The campaign thanks all of the many donors, endorsers, and volunteers who made this victory possible, as well as the voters who voted YES for Driscoll on December 10.