MSBA Approves Town’s Plan to Build New Schools

Thursday, October 3, 2013
By John Lynds

The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) voted Wednesday to approve the town’s plans to build a new Winthrop High/Middle School. Town residents will now vote to approve the project on November 5.

“It was a great day and a big hurdle to jump,” said Superintendent of Schools John Macero. “In their decision the MSBA felt that the new Winthrop High/Middle School was the best option for the town.”

Voters will vote on the plan approved by School Building Advisory Committee (SBAC), which is to tear down the existing high school and build a brand new facility that would house both a high school and middle school that would operate independently of one another.

“As I’ve said countless times before, I believe that education is the great equalizer,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “Through our budget, the Legislature has increased funding for local schools and various K-12 programs. While providing more resources is key to making our education system the best in the nation, having the proper facilities is also part of this goal. The MSBA grant towards Winthrop’s proposed new school is a great opportunity for our town to do so.”

In January the SBAC voted 14-4 in favor of building a new Middle School and High School during a joint Winthrop School Building Assistance Committee/Winthrop School Committee meeting. The cost of the project would be 82,950,000. The projected cost and cap set by Winthrop would be 42,975,000.

The MSBA also approved funding 59.97% of the project. The base funding of the project was set at 55.63% by the state when the project began. However, the town has been receiving incentive points that will get the project close to the cost cap set by the town. So far the design team and SBAC had pushed the base up to 59.97%, which gets the Town closer to its goal.

The Town has received incentive points based on the project being LEED certified, the complex’s proposed maintenance plan and other factors which has increased the base of eligible reimbursement points.

The SBAC is hosting a series of informational meetings and tours on Thursday, October 17 at the Winthrop Middle School at 6:00 p.m., on Wednesday, October 23 at the Robert A. DeLeo Senior Center at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., on Tuesday, October 29 at Winthrop High School at 6:00 p.m. and on October 5, 12 and 19 from 9 – 11 a.m. at the High School.

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