Category: Project Updates

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 the 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.


Tisbury School to remain at current site location

June 7, 2017

The TSBC voted to remove the Manter Well site from further consideration. Additionally, the TSBC voted to remove the option for New Construction of a 2-story building on the existing site.
The study will continue with the two remaining options:


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).


And then there were three …

April 12, 2017

The TSBC voted to remove the Tashmoo Well site from further consideration, as determined by the TSBC and Community feedback and comments.
The study will continue with the three remaining options:


Community Workshops – Location Options

April 3, 2017

The project team hosted two community workshops to inform the residents of the status of the project and present our findings to date. The presentation included an overview of the process, followed by the results of the initial study of each option. Below are “test fit” diagrams for the four options that meet the educational program requirements. These are not definitive design plans, but rather examples of potential layouts to give a sense of how an appropriately-sized building would fit on the site:

A full copy of the presentation shown at the community workshops is available on the Documents page.

Next steps will be to eliminate the least appropriate option(s) to narrow the selection down for further and more detailed study. The Tisbury School Building Committee will be presenting the current findings to the Selectmen, and the public is welcome to attend School Building Committee meetings to hear updates on the progress of the study.



Start of Feasibility Study

Six possible site options were initially considered. Three options were removed from consideration as a result of site or permitting restrictions. The three site options selected for initial study are the current site at 40 West William Street, the Tashmoo Well site, and the Manter Well site. Below is a map, showing the locations of the original six sites that were initially considered. A full copy of the Preliminary Design Program submitted to the MSBA on March 28, 2017 is available on the Documents page.

Original Sites Explored by Study – 6 sites


Tisbury School Project

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