Upcoming renovations to the Mansfield Middle School locker rooms will continue what could be a number of updates to Mansfield Public Schools.
The Mansfield Public Schools Board of Education held its first workshop Oct. 10 to discuss facilities renovations, Board of Education Chair Kathy Ward said at the board’s meeting Thursday night. Dr. Isobel Stevenson from the CT Center for School Change led the workshop, Ward said.
“We addressed the need to discuss both long-range needs and short-term needs due to budget and enrollment,” Ward said. “We identified our priorities relative to facilities planning.”
Ward outlined the priorities, which include maintaining the current depth of programming, continuing to advance work that supports 21st century learning, being fiscally responsible, supporting teachers and being open regarding class sizes.
At the November board meeting, Mansfield Public Schools Superintendent Kelly Lyman will provide information regarding the costs of maintaining each school, scenarios to consolidate the number of Mansfield elementary schools and the costs of programs, Ward said.
Lyman said she will also present a summary of completed facilities work. Until then, Lyman said she is focused on and optimistic about the locker room renovations.
“We are very much looking forward to renovating those locker rooms and getting nice, new and fresh things in there,” Lyman said.
The board also scheduled a second workshop for Dec. 14 that will focus on longer-range plans. Ward said no plans are yet definite.
“I would like to be very clear, the board has not made any decisions regarding facilities as of yet,” Ward said. “We need to review all of the requests and information before any decisions are made.”
Ward said the determining factors in which renovation plans go through will primarily be the state budget and enrollment.
According to a Wall Street Journal article, Connecticut’s largest teacher union filed a lawsuit against the state Wednesday, calling for an injunction on $500 million in education spending cuts. The cuts result from Connecticut’s current budget deadlock.
Data shows that enrollment at Mansfield Public Schools consistently declined in past years. Specifically, enrollment dropped by 76 students, from 1227 in 2016 to 1151 in 2017.
Lyman said the enrollment decline is of no concern.
John Lavenburg is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.