Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Memorial School Building Project Update!

The Memorial School Building Committee (SBC) and its team of consultants submitted its Preliminary Design Program (PDP) to the (MSBA) Massachusetts School Building Authority on November 22nd. This is the first milestone in the MSBA’s Feasibility Study phase.  

What’s In the Preliminary Design Program?
  • Memorial School educational program
  • Memorial School initial space summary and existing conditions report
  • Site analysis and site determination- Memorial School site has been selected
  • Project design parameters and initial design options for further study
  • Conceptual budget for each option, based on cost per square foot

The overall purpose of the Feasibility Study is to gather information about potential sites and design options, identify options for development, analyze their pros and cons, and choose a preferred option for high level schematic design and budget estimate. The PDP document is the first progress report in this process. In the PDP, MSBA requires all districts to present three types of options:  renovation only, renovation with additions, and new construction.  These options will be examined in detail by MERSD in the next phase of the feasibility process.  From December to February, the Building Committee will be working to narrow down the potential options and will submit a Preferred Schematic Design (PSD) option to the MSBA for approval and further development.  The overall goal is to identify an option that is both cost effective and aligned with the needs of MERSD’s educational program.

Community Input:  This the fall, the Memorial School Building Committee hosted two community meetings at Memorial School to keep both the Manchester and Essex communities up-to-date on the process and to gather feedback. The meetings focused on the MSBA grant program process and schedule, the existing conditions of Memorial school, and introducing potential building sites.  The second community meeting focused on site selection decision making, feasibility phase building options, and project timeline.   The next community meeting in late January will include updates on the evaluation of building options being considered by the Building Committee.

Timeline:  In October, representatives from MERSD met with the Finance Committees and the Boards of Selectmen in both towns to review progress on the Feasibility Study and to ask for their support of a November 2018 town vote to fund the Memorial School building project. Both the Manchester and Essex Boards of Selectman voted unanimously to support this effort. This puts us on a pathway to have a project schematic design and cost proposal available in Spring of 2018. Throughout the coming months, representatives from the Building Committee will be at various community events in both towns to answer questions about our progress and the project.  Please look for us!

A Look Ahead

Dec. 2017 – February 2018            Identification of design option for development
      January 31, 2018                    MSBC Community Meeting
      February 21, 2018                   MSBA Sub. - Preferred Schematic Design
March – June 2018                        Schematic Design & Cost Proposal Development
September 2018                           Town Meetings Held
November 2018                            Town Votes