Your Questions

Here are some of the questions we hear most often.

What is the student capacity of the High School according to the project plan?
The school contains 24 classrooms of 850 square feet (or larger in the case of the vocational classrooms). Assuming that each classroom contains 23 students on average, the school will fit 552 students. In reality, students are rotating between classes, so sometimes classes are empty to allow for planning sessions. Realistically, assuming an 80% utilization rate per classroom, the school can fit 441 students providing over 35sf per student at all times.
This does not include the following spaces in the calculation: half size classrooms, small group meeting spaces, gymnasium, auditorium, media center, cafeteria or two sub separate special education classrooms with lower student teacher ratios. Nor does it include the Pre-K wing.
What would happen if the school exceeded 441 students? It would increase class sizes and/or decrease course offerings?

If the school got to an enrollment of 550 students it might start to feel crowded and in need of an addition. Fortunately, the design anticipates that possibility and plans for a five-classroom addition to allow another 100 to 125 students.

Why is the SEBRSD exploring the possibility of renovating or rebuilding David Prouty High School?

DPHS is the oldest school in the District’s portfolio. The school was built in the 1960s when the District had a different model of teaching. For several decades the District has seen declining enrollment at the high school because of the condition of the facility.

Our students must have a safe, up-to-date facility designed to meet the needs of their lives in the twenty-first century. They need flexible spaces with reliable mechanical infrastructure; handicapped accessibility; leading-edge science, technology and computer laboratories; improved performance spaces; administrative and guidance suites providing privacy; state of the art library and cafeteria; and physical education and sports facilities that support all students.

Who is leading the design?

SEBRSD has hired Colliers International to manage the project, and Jones Whitsett Architects (JWA) to lead the design effort. They are working with an appointed School Building Committee to explore options and develop a detailed program of space needs.

What are the current goals for the project?

Better quality teaching spaces and labs

Flexible classrooms to support Early Childhood Ed, Marketing, Criminal Justice & Environmental Studies

Improved Gym and Phys Ed spaces

Improved outdoor spaces for learning and recreation

Improved site circulation, landscaping, and parking

Reconditioning of current sports fields

New track and bleachers

A more sustainable, high performing, yet cost-effective building

Will the community be able to use the new schools after hours?

It is a goal to make it possible for the community to use the improved school safely after hours and when school is not in session.

Will the school mechanical systems function better in a renovated or new school facility?

It is a goal for the new school to be more energy-efficient and comfortable during high heat and cold days. Whether buildings are renovated or replaced, the building code will require considerable upgrades to meet current energy code and accessibility code requirements. The visioning process also indicated a desire for the schools to be air-conditioned so that the school can serve the community year-round, to provide sprinklers to improve fire protection, and to improve IT infrastructure.

How long will the project take to be completed?

The current Study Phase will end with a schematic design and detailed cost estimate and a local vote to finance the community’s share of the project. The local vote may take place in November or December 2022. If approved, the project would begin construction in 2024 and be completed by August 2026. View timeline | View Project Phasing

Is it true that the Massachusetts School Building Authority will cover part of the project cost?

Yes, SEBRSD has been approved for participation in the MSBA Core Project Grant Program. It is estimated that roughly 50% of the MSBA eligible costs will be reimbursed by the MSBA. Not all costs are eligible for reimbursement.

How can I be more involved?

You can follow the process by tuning in to monthly School Building Committee Meetings on Spencer Cable Access and by signing up to receive updates. You can also follow the project on Facebook at

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