Community / Education / Public Education / Groton, Connecticut

Groton School Facilities Master Plan

Client: Groton Board of Education
Work_Groton School Facilities Master Plan_2017

Building consensus for a $186 million school construction program

Setting the stage

Groton, a diverse coastal community of 40,000 residents, is home to a US Naval Base, Electric Boat, Pfizer, and the village of Mystic, a tourist destination. The School Facility Task Force, established in 2013, was faced with continued declining enrollment, diversity issues, aging facilities, and a renaissance of magnet schools regionally. The community was fatigued by two failed referenda. The Task Force’s goal was to modernize and reposition community schools for the next generation and boost the attractiveness of the community to new residents while improving learning environments.

A community-driven process

We worked with the Task Force to create a community-supported comprehensive master plan to modernize facilities, streamline operations, and address parity and equity across the community. We held workshops and meetings, conducted resident surveys, and generated promotional materials. We also provided technical analysis in school facility planning and worked with an architect to develop a building program that aimed to shrink the district’s portfolio of buildings to match the enrollment while expanding educational opportunities for all the children of Groton. The program respected the town’s desire for neighborhood schools while also providing magnet school opportunities and unified children at a middle school, which had been historically divided into two schools.

The final vote

After a three-year process, the community voted and approved Groton 2020, which creates a consolidated middle school and renovates the former middle schools into two intra-district magnet elementary schools. The process was geared at overcoming challenges to provide parity and equal opportunity for all students while streamlining the system to align with shrinking budgets and state aid to best ensure the town is headed in right direction.

Thanks to the expert advice and guidance of Milone & MacBroom, Groton Public Schools was able to develop a comprehensive school construction plan that was recently approved at referendum. Throughout the planning process, the Milone & MacBroom team shared invaluable knowledge and experience with the district staff. I would strongly encourage any school system considering a planning process to request assistance from the Milone & MacBroom team; our district benefited enormously from their expertise.
Michael H. Graner, Ph.D, Superintendent of Groton Public Schools