The “new” Staples High School is already a decade old. Ten years after opening, the 3-story building still looks fresh.
But the school population has risen. It’s now nearly 1,900 — 100 students over the 1,800 it was planned for. Projections — based on demographic trends, as well as housing starts and the addition of multi-family housing in Westport — show enrollments of 1,900 or so students for at least the next several years.
With those figures in mind — and current and future advances in areas like science, technology, art, engineering, math, robotics, 3D modeling, social studies and world languages, as well as increased state graduation credit requirements — superintendent of schools Elliott Landon has released a Facility Planning Study.
The 43-page document is based on work by Fuller & D’Angelo (the architects of record for the 2005 addition/renovation), ASW Engineers and CPS Cost Estimators.
The informational guide — conceptual in nature — offers 3 potential building additions. The unanimous recommendation of all parties was a single-level scheme. It provides a 2-story engineering and robotics lab on the southeast corner (near the current horticulture garden); another 2-story conference space opposite it, then more classrooms and auxiliary spaces connected to current corridors and the cafeteria area, toward the gym. This creates a new circulation loop eastward (by the back parking lot) of the current library.
The cost estimate totals $21.2 million. State reimbursement could return $2 million to the town.
The plan is of course in the early stages. Public input — plus many rounds of commission meetings, beginning with the Board of Education on Monday night — lie ahead.