Wellesley residents hoping to save Hardy Elementary School from closing six years down the road as part of a broader school facilities overhaul presented this past fall are stepping up their campaign.
Red and white “Save Wellesley Neighborhood Schools” signs have popped up across town in recent weeks, particularly noticeable along Weston Road where so many Save the North 40 signs once stood.
Separately, a new online petition encourages residents to stand up for neighborhood schools. Wellesley’s Public School System includes seven elementary schools, in addition to its Middle School and High School, and it is Hardy, Hunnewell and Upham that stand to undergo the biggest changes under the School Facilities Committee’s proposal (Here’s more background on the Hardy, Hunnewell, Upham Facilities Project and an FAQ that includes lots of supporting information to demonstrate the thinking behind the recommendation.)
According to the Save Wellesley Neighborhood Schools group, “The current Hardy, Hunnewell, Upham (HHU) recommendation does not support the concept of neighborhood schools and the value they bring to Wellesley, in relation to walkability, community, the learning environment they foster and the investment made in them when purchasing a home. Furthermore, the process used to create this recommendation lacked transparency and appropriate community representation. Closing a school should be a last resort only, not a strong preference from early on.”
More than 500 people have signed the petition, which includes verbatim comments from some backers. One person wrote: “Please keep hardy open. Neighborhood schools are what make Wellesley special.”
A School Committee/HHU (Hardy/Hunnewell/Upham) Parent Advisory Committee meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 21 at 7pm at the Wellesley High School Library.