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Why does the Smith Elementary School need to be replaced?

Please refer to the existing conditions reports in the “Documents and Presentations” Tab for more details. Overall, the District’s goal is to have an equitable school facility at Smith Elementary School compared to our other four elementary schools.

Physical Issues:

  • Two-story building constructed in 1973
  • No major renovations in forty-five years
  • Exterior walls, roof and HVAS all at end of useful life
  • Building design (“open classroom”) does not support 21st century learning

Educational Issues:

  • No performing arts area
  • Classroom sizes small than the average at other elementary schools in Danvers
  • “Open classroom” design:
    • Conflicts with educational programming & 21st century learning
    • Does not provide proper noise reduction between adjacent areas
    • Poses potential security threat
    • Students in grades K – 2 need to be relocated while grades 3-5 take MCAS/PARCC exams
  • Outdated electrical system affects number of computer projectors, and technology that can be used at one time

Location/Orientation Issues:

  • No emergency egress road around the building
  • Parking on site is extremely limited and on-street parking must be used daily
  • Cars, busses and students share the parking area which creates a safety concern during student drop-off and pick-up
  • Flooding of lower areas has occurred during heavy rain events


The MSBA requires the design team to analyze the following options for each project: Renovation, Addition/Renovation, or New Construction.

  • The Renovation option was estimated at roughly $20.6 million total project cost; however, the renovated building would still have many of the same challenges of the existing and would not be large enough for 465 students without an addition. The disruptions to students associated with a renovation or addition/renovation would be significant.
  • The Add/Reno option was estimated at roughly $55.3 million total project cost.
  • The New Construction option is estimated at roughly $52 million total project cost and was determined by the Designer, Smith School Building Committee, and MSBA to be the preferred solution for educational program delivery and long-term use and maintenance.
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