Early move into new Wellesley High School “not a definite”

new Wellesley High School December 2010

Is the new Wellesley High School going to open early or not? That’s what a reader wrote to us asking about, confused by an apparent contradiction between a letter sent to Wellesley parents in January and the latest happenings at the School Committee regarding this topic.

The Townsman reported last week on a School Committee meeting during which it was revealed that moving into the new high school early — following February vacation next year rather than the originally plan date about six months after that — would cost the town more than $500K.  School Committee Chair KC Kato is quoted as saying: “We are looking at the possibility of an early move. It has not been determined; everything is still in flux.”

(Meanwhile, Wellesley High School Principal Andrew Keough wrote to parents and guardians in early February that: “of the wonderful news that the new high school may in fact be available for our use much earlier than originally planned.”)

But all that seemed to conflict with a letter sent to Wellesley Public School families in January by superintendent Bella Wong, who wrote: “I am writing to share some great news. We are planning to move into the new high school over the 2012 February vacation…” and that the School Committee had discussed and approved such a plan in mid-January. Wong pointed out that the Class of 2012 would get to enjoy at least a bit of the new high school before graduating, plus it would make demolition of the old building easier and get a new parking lot built sooner. What’s more, she wrote, “finishing early provides a possibility for cost savings to the project.”

However, the key wording in Wong’s original letter might be “planning” and “we plan”, as she clarified for us this week that:

“We are planning for the possibility of an early move.  As you can imagine the possibility of a February vacation move requires a lot of pre-planning and notice to the school community because of the impact to February Vacation dates.  So yes, it remains a possibility we are planning for, not a definite.”

RELATED: School Building Committee

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