Published December 9, 2020


LYNNFIELD — Voters overwhelmingly approved the $17 million elementary schools’ expansion project during a Special Town Election on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

According to the unofficial results released to the Villager by Town Clerk Linda Emerson, voters approved the expansion project by a 1,316-648 vote. The unofficial results revealed that 1,964 out of the town’s 9,504 registered voters cast ballots either by mail or in-person during the Special Town Election.

The $17 million expansion plan entails constructing two permanent additions onto both elementary schools that will each contain five classrooms in order to address increasing enrollment. Two existing classrooms at both schools will be renovated as well.

“I want to send a huge heartfelt thank you to the town of Lynnfield for overwhelmingly supporting the school building project,” School Committee Chairman Jamie Hayman stated in an email sent to the Villager. “Tuesday’s vote is an investment in future generations by ensuring our students can attend schools that have the space to maximize their learning potential, by preserving reasonable class sizes and continuing to provide dedicated space for art and music at the elementary schools.”

Hayman thanked Together We Grow members Kate DePrizio, Sarah Kelley, Crystal Lavino and Bridget Charville for “working tirelessly to get out the vote at both the Special Town Meeting and for Tuesday’s ballot question.” He also thanked School Building Committee Chairman John Scenna, retired Superintendent Jane Tremblay, School Committeeman Tim Doyle and Town Administrator Rob Dolan “for their tireless work over the last two-and-half years putting together the research and making the case for this expansion.”

“Finally, thank you again to the Lynnfield community for supporting this initiative, through a pandemic, at a Special Town Meeting and the election,” said Hayman. “I am so appreciative to live in a community that is so supportive of its schools.”

Board of Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett agreed.

“Thank you to the residents of Lynnfield for, once again, overwhelmingly supporting the successful future of Lynnfield Public Schools,” Barrett stated in an email sent to the Villager. “As always, we greatly appreciate all of your help and support for Lynnfield Public Schools. Thank you to the strong group of dedicated volunteers who made this successful day possible from the very beginning well over two years ago. They once again proved that together we can positively grow as a community when we fully support education. Together We Grow reminded our community once again that our volunteer base is the main reason why we remain one of the most desirable communities to call home. A day like Tuesday reminds all of us that our future will always be bright and filled with much hope and opportunity for all. As a selectman and parent, I thank you for all of your help and support.”

Together We Grow Marketing Director Sarah Kelley concurred with Barrett and Hayman’s point of view.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the results of the election,” said Kelley in an email sent to the Villager. “We are proud that the Lynnfield community has once again spoken and chosen to put the schools and our children’s education first.”

The Special Town Election took place two-and-a-half weeks after a Special Town Meeting approved sending the project to the ballot box by a 386-17 vote.

Huckleberry Hill School’s proposed addition will be located in the back of the building while Summer Street School’s addition will be located off of the fourth grade wing. Four traditional classrooms will be built at each school while the fifth classroom at each building will be utilized as an individualized learning space.

The project will also enlarge Huckleberry Hill School’s gym, which will be used by both students as well as local community organizations. The project will also expand the parking lot at each school as well as the pick-up and drop-off areas at each campus. New fields will be built at both schools, and a new playground will be built at Summer Street as part of the plan because the existing fields and playground equipment will be destroyed during construction.

Local officials anticipate the expansion project will be completed by the start of the 2022-2023 school year. Local officials have also estimated that the project will result in an average property tax increase of $205 per household.

“The School Building Committee is ready to go to work,” said Chairman John Scenna in a statement posted on the town of Lynnfield’s Facebook page. “The Board of Selectmen and now the citizens of Lynnfield have given us a charge to create educational space that meets our needs and that we can all be proud of. As fellow Lynnfield residents, we will be successful.”

Barrett thanked Scenna and the School Building Committee for “their hard work and dedication to making this day possible.”