WALLINGFORD — The Board of Education has hired consulting firm Milone & MacBroom to complete a facilities study of the town’s middle and high schools.
The firm will complete the study of the four schools for just under $60,000. It will include recommendations on future use of buildings.
“This study not only will look at enrollment and buildings, but also will review present programming and future ideas for students,” said Superintendent of Schools Salvatore Menzo.
Milone & MacBroom, with offices in Cheshire and other locations throughout the Northeast, has received several awards and national recognition for its work in engineering the Meriden Green. The firm also helps with “school enrollment projections and redistricting planning,” according to its website.
A preliminary report is expected in four months and a final report in seven months, according to bid documents. Menzo said focus groups will be formed over the summer and early fall to offer feedback to the firm.
“The goal is to have several alternatives to share with the Board of Education for public review in late October or early November. Once narrowed down to a few options, one will be decided upon with the input of the public,” Menzo wrote in a weekly message to families last month. “Needless to say, this is a very important undertaking. I am looking forward to hearing the outcomes and planning for the future.”
Menzo said changes in enrollment and upcoming renovations to the middle and high schools prompted the study.
The district's total enrollment has dropped from about 6,800 in 2008 to 5,822 this school year. Officials project that enrollment will continue to drop over the next 10 years to 5,458 by 2028.
The study will seek to "help maintain equitable class sizes across the district while best utilizing space."
Menzo said the board is also facing several projects, including upgrades to bathrooms at Sheehan High School, which could cost millions.
"Once you reach that amount of money, it begs the conversation of, 'are we making the best use of our funds?'" Menzo said. "So that's why the board thought it was important to look at the big picture."