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Letter to Editor RE- Importance of Lyons School Building Project

October 1, 2021

Stuart Green
Randolph Wicked Local

Dear Stuart,

The Elizabeth G. Lyons School Building Project is critically important for the Town of Randolph. The existing building lacks adequate space. Seventy-five percent more square footage is required to accommodate the current occupancy. That’s a high percentage! Furthermore, handicap accessibility is poor, including doors and restrooms.  The school’s gym layout disrupts instructional activities taking place in the classrooms. The exterior is crumbling; the roof has outlived its lifespan by over 10 years. Additionally, the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems as well as the temperature controls are original to the building and have long since served their useful purpose. Most importantly, the Lyons School does not have up-to-date ventilation systems which are critical to the health and safety of students and staff, especially during COVID-19 and lacks a sprinkler system to detect, prevent and/or control fire.

It is imperative that as a school district and community, we ensure that every child is learning at a maximum level, and the spaces they learn in impacts this. This new building is beneficial to the whole town. 

  • It improves all of Randolph’s elementary schools by eliminating overcrowding and outplacements throughout the District
  • It increases your property values
  • It creates innovative and updated community space

Should the ballot initiative fail, it will take approximately 10 years before another MSBA core project could be completed. The detrimental effect on this community is:

  • The Lyons School may have to close, which will result in overcrowding in the other elementary schools
  • The Town will have to invest significant capital improvements in excess of $13 million for just base repair
  • Alternative options such as moving middle schoolers to the high school will require significant time and money to implement and will result in less than desirable educational solutions

As Superintendent of Randolph Public Schools, I take each child’s education seriously, recognizing that learning and growing involves more than books, notepads, and writing equipment. They involve spaces that are comfortable and equipped with furniture that will aid in one’s learning as well as adequate windows that allow daylight into the classrooms, safe and spacious rooms for extracurricular activities, including outdoor space and so on. I want what’s best for the children of Randolph Public Schools; I believe the Town of Randolph does too.

With Randolph pride,

Thea Stovell, Superintendent