New school will be built

The Wildwood School Building Committee has approved the construction of a new elementary school near Wildwood.

The school will hold approximately 750 second through sixth grade students.

In surveys of students, families, and staff, district administrators concluded that the current Wildwood and Fort River Elementary School buildings were problematic.

The classrooms are very large but are divided into “quads,” four small classrooms with only temporary dividing walls between them.

These walls do not block sound, and some students must cross other classrooms to get to their own.

Despite support for a new building, some opposed the plan, citing their preference for smaller schools and   citing transportation challenges. The school will cost approximately $65 million to build, half of which will be paid by the state, and the other half by the town of Amherst.

Brody Lynch attended Fort River Elementary School. He said that he does not recall the quad system as being an issue, and while he could sometimes hear other classrooms, “this was not a problem.”

He described students from other classes walking through his classroom as being only “minimally disruptive.”

He continued, “during my time at the school, I did not notice a need for the investment in [construction of the new school].”

The new school is expected to open in 2019.