Press Release EGES & Veterans - MSBA Action Press Release

posted Aug 26, 2020, 9:41 AM by Grant Harris
On Wednesday, August 26, the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s (MSBA) Board of Directors formally approved a motion to support plans for the building of a new consolidated elementary school in Gloucester, specifically a combination of East Gloucester Elementary School and Veterans’ Memorial School. Under the continued guidelines for project development, the Massachusetts School Building Authority is prepared to enter into a Project Scope and Budget Agreement ("PSBA") which is a standard contract that the MSBA enters into with a school district after having approved that district’s submitted schematic design. The schematic design includes a detailed scope, budget, and schedule for the project.

With the Board of Directors approval and with the imminent signing of the funding agreement, the MSBA will continue to monitor the project as it moves forward to ensure that expectations of both the District and the MSBA, as defined in the Project Scope and Funding Agreement are being met. Ultimately, this will be the basis for both the completion of the project and for the reimbursement of those elements of the project that are reimbursable. What this means is that for an estimated $66.7 million project, the City could expect reimbursement from the MSBA somewhere in the area of $24-25.5 million. Overall cost to the City of Gloucester would then be approximately $42 million for an estimated 90,000 square foot school.

Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken said, “Thank you to the MSBA Board for today’s support of a new combined elementary school project in Gloucester. We are thrilled to have reached this important milestone. The MSBA has recognized the need for a new elementary school and has agreed to a Maximum Total Facilities Grant of approximately $25.5 million which will significantly reduce the cost of the project to Gloucester taxpayers. We now have a unique opportunity to give our children who attend the East Gloucester and Veterans Memorial Elementary Schools the tools need to succeed in a modern learning environment that is a smart investment for the future of our City.”

This project calls for a consolidated elementary school, combining both the East Gloucester and Veterans’ Memorial Elementary Schools. This new building will be located on the current site of Veterans’ Memorial Elementary School. It will serve the combined school communities, currently at 440 students. The design provides a new facility designed to serve the educational goals that will meet the needs of our children for many years to come and includes common areas that will be available to the public such as a full-size gymnasium, and several meeting areas.

Recently, both the State Legislature and the Governor both approved the Article 97 request for the recreational field adjacent to the Veterans Memorial School to be used for school construction purposes. This request was brought forward by the City Administration and the City Council. The Article 97 legislation includes a “swap” of the land at East Gloucester Elementary School to be preserved as open space. The softball field, currently located on the Veterans’ site will be relocated to the Green St. recreational area.

With the MSBA approval, the project moves locally for funding through a debt exclusion vote on November 3 when the citizens of Gloucester will have an opportunity to move this school building project forward.