Martha’s Vineyard School District Eyes Expansion

By Eric Althoff

VINEYARD HAVEN, Mass.—Boston-based architect Tappé Architects has been tapped to construct temporary school rooms by the town of Tisbury, which is located on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. The temporary classrooms will be located at 55 West William Street, located in the area known as Vineyard Haven.

Given that Martha’s Vineyard encompasses only 96 square miles and is accessible from the Massachusetts mainland only via ferry, there is a premium on educational space on the island, particularly in the time of COVID-19, when social distancing is necessary. However, in addition to the temporary classrooms, more work will be needed to renovate the educational space that already exists.

The Martha’s Vineyard Times described ongoing “environmental issues” at Tisbury School that include lead contamination as well as other needed upgrades. According to the Times, voters will be asked to vote on a special proposition in June to provide additional future funding for the school’s renovation. Should that vote on Proposition 2½ be approved, the temporary classrooms now under construction will be needed likely into 2023 as construction on newer buildings commences next year.

Last month, the town reviewed plans by Tappé to take on the $55 million school addition. The Times reports that the potential plans also recommend a construction manager at risk be brought aboard the enterprise rather than employing the more traditional low-bid method, which could be risky for an environment as small and sensitive as the island. The plans also recommended hiring Daedalus Projects as project manager.

According to the Times, the Tisbury School needs to expand in order to accommodate a complement that will likely entail more than 100 additional students before the end of the decade.