Tisbury School Building Project Updates

Updated Exterior Design

The Tisbury School Building Committee met on Monday, November 27th to view updates to the exterior of the new school building and discuss exterior materials. Updated floor plans for the interior were also presented.

An album of the current renderings can be found on the Photos page. The presentation can be found on the Documents page and the Meetings page, as well as past presentations, meeting minutes, and information about upcoming meetings.


We Need Your Input!

Please join the Tisbury School Building Committee at one of our upcoming meetings dedicated to discussing the exterior design and materials for the school building project.

We will have two (2) meetings on Monday, November 20, 2017, at the Tisbury Emergency Services Facility Conference Room:

1:00pm – A combined Outdoor Facilities and Material & Maintenance Working Group meeting
3:00pm – Tisbury School Building Committee Meeting to discuss: A. Construction Procurement and B. Exterior Design and Materials

Any questions or comments? Please contact Tisbury SBC Chairman Colleen McAndrews at (508) 714-9345 or themcsix@comcast.net


Building Placement Selected and Updates to Design Presented 

During September and October, the Tisbury School Building Committee (TSBC) reviewed options for building placement on the existing site and design options for the new building. At the 9/25 meeting of the TSBC, a vote to proceed with “Option 3B” – a building location on the east section of the site – was approved. Updates to the schematic design of the interior spaces and examples of exterior finishes have been presented to the committee for consideration.

Other information can be found on the Documents page and the Meetings page, including past presentations, meeting minutes, and information about upcoming meetings.

Thank you to all the Tisbury community members that joined us at the September 18th public presentation. Below is a link to the presentation show with options for the location of the building on the site.

2017-09-18_Tisbury Community Presentation

Other information can be found on the Documents page and the Meetings page, including past presentations, meeting minutes, and a full copy of the Preferred Schematic Program.

MSBA Board Votes Tisbury School into Schematic Design

August 23, 2017 – The Massachusetts School Building Authority Board of Directors voted to move the Tisbury School project into the Schematic Design phase. In the Schematic Design phase, the MSBA and the Tisbury School project team will look at options to replace the existing school. The first step for the project team will be to review options for placement of the new building on the site.

Town Boards review School Building Committee’s recommendation

At a meeting of the Tisbury School Building Committee, the Tisbury School Committee, and the Tisbury School Advisory Council held on Monday, July 17th, the members met with Town Boards to review the recommendation for new construction on the current site for the Tisbury School project consider the necessity of a second vote. The board members present included the Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board, and the William Street Historic District. After the presentation and lengthy discussion, it was agreed that the TSBC did not require a second vote and would move forward with the current recommendation.

The SBC recognized that this was an opportunity to re-group as a committee and have the leadership of our town support this project going forward so that we end up with a successful, fiscally responsible project for the future of our town and its citizens.

Building Committee votes for new construction at the current location

The Tisbury School Building Committee, having thoroughly reviewed all the possible options throughout the Feasibility Study over the past year, voted on June 19th to develop a plan for new construction on the existing site at 40 W. William Street. This plan was submitted on June 29th to the Massachusetts School Building Authority for review and MSBA Board of Directors approval in August, after which the Town will proceed in to the Schematic Design Phase.

The Project Team and the School Building Committee will consider various options for site circulation and building placement during this phase, in preparation for submission of a Preferred Schematic Design in November of this year. Links to the presentations from the June 7th and June 19th meetings can be found in Documents page.

The Tisbury School Building Committee will host public forums in the fall regarding input on school design and building placement. Once scheduled, information will be posted in the Meetings page.

May 24th Public Forum

Thank you to all the people that came out on Wednesday, May 24th for the Public Forum. The Tisbury School Project team appreciates all the input and comments we received at the forum and via the survey. We have added a link to the Architect’s presentation at the Public Forum to the Documents page. We have also added a link to the presentation and a link to the MVTV video in the Meetings list (under the date 5/24/2017).

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve added a “Frequently Asked Questions” page. Topics include many of the comments and questions we’ve received from the community through our public meetings and previous survey. You can access the FAQs page on the menu above, or by clicking here.

The current Tisbury School is in need of substantial capital improvements or replacement. The Town of Tisbury, the Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools, and the Tisbury School Building Committee are working with the Massachusetts School Building Authority to conduct a Feasibility Study. During this process, they will assess options for renovation and expansion of the existing facility or the construction of a new building (either on the current school site or a new site). Project updates will be posted regularly to keep the community informed of the progress.

Additional information about the Tisbury School can be found on the Tisbury School website, the Town of Tisbury website,  and the Tisbury School PTO website.

Project History: The Tisbury School and the Massachusetts School Building Authority

The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) is a quasi-governmental organization that provides financial grants to selected communities for the improvement of their schools. Only approximately 10% of communities are accepted into the program. The Town submitted an application to the MSBA in 2014 and the application was rejected. The Town submitted a second application in 2015, highlighting the community’s need for a modern, energy-efficient facility with adequate space for the student population. This second application was accepted, and the Town of Tisbury was invited to partner with the MSBA in its grant process.

At the 2016 Annual Town Meeting, the town voted in favor of an $825,000 appropriation to fund the Feasibility Study and Schematic Design Phase of the project.  The MSBA will reimburse approximately $338,000 of the cost of the study.

An analysis of enrollment projections and space capacity needs has been conducted by the MSBA, in collaboration with the Tisbury School project team, to establish the appropriate size and program requirements for the new facility. This study determined that an anticipated enrollment of 285 students in grades K-8 would be sufficient to meet the needs of the community. This design also incorporates the expanded programming required by growth trends for English Language Learners (ELL) and Title I eligible students. The School District also plans to add a Pre-K classroom to the school.


* Renovate or replace existing facilities
* Increase efficiency of operations
* Improve technology and education program infrastructure
* Identify sustainable design and construction goals

The Existing School Building

The existing Tisbury School was built in 1929. Since that time, two major additions have been made to the facility: the 1938 gymnasium and the 1995 academic wing, which added two kindergarten classrooms, a library, and two science classrooms. The School is currently 51,000 square feet.  A modular building was leased in 2002 to house required programs that the main building could not accommodate.  The school site is located on 5.15 acres of developed land at 40 West William Street in Tisbury.  The site includes the existing brick school building, the modular building (White House), 65 parking spaces, play structures, an open field, and a ball field.