FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What will the project cost?
The total project cost for this project will be developed over the initial feasibility study and schematic design phases. In this process, the community leadership and member communities’ residents will be invited to participate in periodic project updates and information gathering sessions. As feedback is gathered and progress is made to identify the most beneficial and cost-effective building solution, the team will have a basis to estimate the cost of the project.
Once the total project cost is finalized, we will be seeking MSBA approval and lock in their grant funding for the project so the local cost impact can be estimated. We anticipate that this stage of the project will be in the summer of 2023.
What is the MSBA and how much grant money have they approved for the project?
The Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) is a quasi-independent government authority created to reform the process of funding capital improvement projects in the Commonwealth’s public schools. The MSBA receives hundreds of applications for funding assistance from cities, towns and regional school districts across the commonwealth yearly and due to funding deficiencies, is only able to select a handful of school projects, based upon relative need. The MSBA strives to work with local communities to create affordable, sustainable, and energy efficient schools across Massachusetts. Learn more on the MSBA’s website here https://www.massschoolbuildings.org/
As stated above, the maximum amount that the MSBA will contribute for this project will be determined at the conclusion of the Schematic Design phase, likely to be in the summer of 2023. The preliminary reimbursement rate agreement with the MSBA has been set using a base reimbursement rate of 52.89% of “eligible costs”. It should be noted that not all project costs are eligible for reimbursement by the MSBA. Additionally, there are opportunities for additional incentive points that could increase the base reimbursement rate. The incentive points will be developed and evaluated when the final building solution is selected.
When will construction start?
No construction can or will start until each of the 11 District members (Franklin, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Norfolk, North Attleboro, Plainville, Seekonk, Sherborn, Walpole and Wrentham) permit the School Committee to authorize borrowing. After member approval, the project design team will complete additional designer services to produce bid ready construction documents.
The final construction schedule has not yet been determined and will not be published until the timeline for securing local funding is finalized.
How can the local community keep informed and/or be involved as this project progresses?
Project website: www.tri-countybuilding.com
Attend periodic community presentation meetings and provide feedback
Attend School Building Committee meetings, typically held on the second Thursday of each month at 4:00PM via Zoom
Will construction of the renovated, addition/renovation or new high school pose any impact to student's classroom experience?
Disruption to the existing school’s operations is one of the key criteria to be considered in selecting the project’s construction option during the Feasibility Study phase. The selected option will be evaluated based on potential impact to the existing school operations. The design team will look for the least impactful option to the student community and building occupants when selecting the most appropriate building solution.
Can the District increase the project scope and budget after obtaining member town approval to move forward with the building project?
At the end of Schematic Design phase, the selected building project is brought to the member communities for their financial support. At this point, the project scope and budget has been thoroughly vetted by the District, the project team and the MSBA. As part of the MSBA process, the District must formally agree to the total project cost, schedule, project scope and size, student enrollment, and other factors that could influence the overall project cost, prior to seeking community support. The MSBA Grant Funding Process is designed to lock in the project cost and scope in order to prevent cost increases in the refinement in the project as it moves toward construction. When the project is under construction, the budget will contain standard and appropriate contingency funds so that the project does not overrun the budget.