Schools, Newton North, & The Newton South Play Fields


  • As a graduate of the Newton Public Schools (Emerson, Meadowbrook Junior High, and Newton South High School), I am grateful for the opportunity that the Newton schools gave me to seek a higher education (Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, Boston College, and Master of Urban Affairs, Boston University). I have supported improvements to the Newton Public Schools to make sure that current and future students enjoy the same benefits that my friends and I have had.
  • I supported the recent renovations to Newton South High School to bring it into compliance with health and safety codes, provide current and future technology, and meet other specific needs that have developed since construction decades ago. I urged the inclusion of alternative energy in the schools' redesign.
  • I supported the use of the Oak Hill School as a badly needed middle school though with great regret that the Warren and Weeks Junior Highs had been mistakenly been sold off long since by the City. I also supported the improvements to the remaining elementary schools after the terribly mistaken closings of the Village Center schools in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The schools that were improved included Angier, Bowen, Countryside, Memorial-Spaulding and Williams.

  • I made sure the Angier School remained on the top of the priority list for renovation.

Newton North

  • The past several years have finally seen the end of the construction of the Newton North High School. I brought to bear on this task my 20 years of service on the Public Facilities Committee where an item I co-sponsored helped to bring in the Main Library Building on time and under budget. I tried to make sure that the Design Review committee was fully involved in this project. The current Newton North was built without their input; its prison-like appearance and multitude of dysfunctions show the results of failing to involve them. You all know that this is the largest and most expensive Public Building project ever undertaken by the city, and I will make sure the administration holds the "Construction Manager at Risk" (a misnomer as we've learned) to the Guaranteed Maximum Price. I don't think the Mayor will ask for more, but if he does, I and my colleagues will deny his request.
  • The price is vastly higher than we would have wanted but probably what it costs to build a school with the required level of programming. The athletic and theatrical wings should be great assets to the whole city, not just the school. Different Contractors and different processes might have yielded different results, but we can be pleased that the completed School will earn a Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification for Energy Efficiency and Conservation, provides natural lighting for all classrooms. and is set as far back as possible from the surrounding streets and homes.
  • The issues of traffic to the site remain to be completely resolved. I oppose left turns from Walnut Street into the "ceremonial drive" and favor right turns into and out of the site whenever possible. I hope that students will show their environmental consciousness by walking to the site or riding to it on MBTA (it's on Route 59) or school buses. No students should drive themselves or have their parents drive them except in the direst of circumstances. (Environmentally conscious students should also attempt to keep the sections of Laundry Brook that are open before it goes under the school site clean or even work with the Friends of Bullough's Pond.)

Newton South Play Fields

  • The Newton South High School Playing Fields have been unplayable after even small rain storms for years because of drainage problems.  I supported  a drainage study which showed that the problem was on the site itself, not downstream in Meadowbrook.  The soil on the site had been compacted by decades of use that water could not drain into the ground and thus into the brook and the Charles River.  I supported the drainage work on site to correct this problem. 

  • To make sure that some South fields are playable, I supported the compromise solution that two fields (football and multi-use) would be made of artificial turf and that two fields (baseball and softball) would be made of natural turf. 

  • I supported the resolution to the Mayor that the artificial turf be made of new European components that are organic rather than rubber crumbs or similar materials.

Topic Date: 
Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Brian E. Yates
Councilor At Large
Ward 5

1094 Chestnut St.
Newton, MA 02464

My campaign for re-election in 2017 is now underway. Please look through this website for information on my qualifications, viewpoints, and accomplishments.


Brian E. Yates Councilor At Large