Staff, students bid farewell to Minot Forest Elementary School

By Matthew Bernat | Jun 26, 2018
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Minot Forest Elementary School students walk out on the last day of the school year. The building will be closed for good as the district consolidates.

Students at Minot Forest Elementary exited the school for the last time on Tuesday, bidding farewell to the building which will be closed next year as the district consolidates.

Surrounded by teachers and staff who clapped and blew bubbles, kids left Minot for summer vacation on the last day of school. Principal Joan Seamans said some furniture and equipment had been packed up for the move to Decas Elementary and Wareham Middle School.

“Today is bittersweet,” said Seamans, who has worked at Minot for 12 years. “We’re not just losing the building, but our Minot family is being split up as some teachers and staff will be in separate buildings next year.”

Pre-school students will attend class in the Decas school, while students in grades three and four will attend classes in the middle school. Grade eight will be moved from the middle school to the high school.

The school is being closed as a cost savings measure and because officials said it’s in poor condition. The 50-year-old school is beset with structural problems and requires significant upgrades for security, electrical wiring and fire safety.

Currently, officials are working to get plans approved by the Massachusetts School Building Authority for a new, combined elementary school where Minot is located. Plans call for completing a design in time for voters to consider approving a debt exclusion at the October 2018 Town Meeting. If approved, Wareham voters would have to OK funding the school during the state's Nov. 6 election as a ballot question. The debt exclusion would raise taxes on residents to pay for the project for the life of the debt.

At April Town Meeting in 2017, voters approved the borrowing of $1 million to fund a feasibility study. The feasibility study explored different options for revamping the school and is a requirement of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, which will reimburse the town approximately $39 million for the project’s construction cost.

Minot Forest Elementary Principal Joan Seamans, center, waves goodbye to students alongside faculty and staff. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Comments (10)
Posted by: cranky pants | Jun 27, 2018 07:15

So they got the not only the teachers, but the children are also banking on a brand new school being built... How cute.

Question,

What happens if the town's people are smart enough to vote " NO " ???

Nothing like counting your chickens before they hatch.



Posted by: Bluebell3333 | Jun 27, 2018 07:18

This is horrible. Once again our town goes backward.

We are fast becoming the elaughing stock of the state.

I know of no other town in the commonwealth that has had continued major financial difficulties as, long as this town has. We should  be ashamed.



Posted by: sadie | Jun 27, 2018 07:38

Bluebell except for the wealthy towns a lot of towns in the commonwealth have had serious financial troubles since the recession of 2008 Unlike other communities that passed an override to help with their financial woes our new Ta had to get things back on track by cutting the budget to the absolute minimum. We are finally out of the mess and the state is very happy with all the progress we have made.

The minot school was falling apart and would have cost a fortune to fix. I think it is a great idea to have one school instead of two at one time we had three that's nuts for such a small town. Combining the schools will save the town money in the long run. Look around at all the new schools that are being built we are not the only town building a new school. 



Posted by: Bluebell3333 | Jun 27, 2018 07:56

Sadie, your way of thinking is the reason for the mess we are in.

They choose to close a school before they have a plan to build a new one.

I hear Bourne is building a new school and a new police station presently but they didn't close the old ones first.

Yes, Wareham had to start over with bare minimums but only because noone looked ahead. I see no other towns laying off dozens of teachers and scrapping services. Wareham is doing it while we are moving ahead.  More like moving behind from what I see.



Posted by: Bluebell3333 | Jun 27, 2018 07:56

Sadie, your way of thinking is the reason for the mess we are in.

They choose to close a school before they have a plan to build a new one.

I hear Bourne is building a new school and a new police station presently but they didn't close the old ones first.

Yes, Wareham had to start over with bare minimums but only because noone looked ahead. I see no other towns laying off dozens of teachers and scrapping services. Wareham is doing it while we are moving ahead.  More like moving behind from what I see.



Posted by: Duffman | Jun 27, 2018 08:36

Those portables are going to be a permanent fixture. No way this town votes for a new school.



Posted by: Duffman | Jun 27, 2018 08:40

Here is an idea: Why not house night school at Minot? That way if (when) the town doesn't vote for a new school, Minot wouldn't need to be brought up to code and could be reopened. Closing it completely is silly. I've said it before and I'll say it again, they're trying to strong arm us into getting a new school.



Posted by: Curiouscat | Jun 27, 2018 12:19

Keep looking for those modules.  I have a feeling they aren't coming.  This was/is all a scare tactic.  How many teachers got laid off?  I don't think it was anywhere near the 30 they were saying before.  This whole thing is asinine.  A new school should have been voted on before closing Minot.  Case closed.  If the new school is not approved, Wareham is screwed.  Correction, the children are screwed.  Keep an eye open and let me know when you see the portables arriving because like I said, I don't think it's going to happen.



Posted by: Doctor Deekas | Jun 27, 2018 12:45

Good point curiouscat. See if the school dept applies for a building permit for an addition to the Decas school. Can't add onto a building without a permit and all the necessary approvals. What are we waiting for, only a few months to go before it would have to be opened to the kids? Chances are 85% that the Town will vote down a new school. After all, most of the voters don't have children in the schools and that type of $90 million dollar 'ordinary box without the frills' is a tough sell in any community. To be on the hook for half of that amount - in this town - are you crazy?????



Posted by: cranky pants | Jun 27, 2018 12:59

I'm still laughing at the fact they spent 1 million dollars on a study when they already had their minds set on a brand new building.

Other than trying to flag down the state's approval why did you bother spending the million bucks when your heart was in a new school ?

Are they planning on spending another million next year for a study to tear down Decas ?



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