Norwood residents are encouraged to attend the latest community forum and building tour to learn more about the Coakley Middle School project

For immediate release

NORWOOD – The Town of Norwood would like to invite members of the community to participate in the last scheduled Community Forum and tour of the current Coakley Middle School building.

The final Community Forum is scheduled for Thursday, March 24 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

Register in advance for the webinar here. Project updates will be presented, budget information will be shared, and attendees will have the opportunity to ask project-related questions.

Coakley Middle School’s final tour is scheduled for Saturday, March 26 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Registration is not required and several brief guided tours will be conducted through the building during the time window. Residents are encouraged to attend to learn about the building’s current conditions and deficiencies, as well as expected improvements and design elements of the proposed new building.

About the project:

In 2017, Norwood Public Schools completed a district-wide facilities study to examine elementary and middle schools. Building performance, such as major repairs needed; functional performance, such as enrollment numbers and crowding; and educational performance, such as existing learning spaces, were the criteria used to evaluate each building.

Coakley Middle School was identified as the school with the most construction flaws. The current Coakley building is overcrowded and needs additional educational space for general and specialist education. Parts of the school lack natural lighting, require changes to comply with accessibility, and mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems are aging and require updates to comply with code . The building would also benefit from hands-on learning spaces and collaboration spaces dedicated to teachers.

The proposed new Coakley Middle School would open in 2025 for approximately 1,070 high school students.

Norwood residents voted to approve a town meeting mandate item to fund the new Coakley Middle School project at a special town meeting on Monday, March 14. Residents will now vote to approve the project in a ballot vote on Monday, April 4.

Learn more about the project and subscribe to receive email updates at newcmsproject.org.

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Jennifer C. Burleigh