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SCHOOL BUILDING COMMITTEE: next steps

Whitman Hansen High School Library
Whitman Hansen High School Library
The momentous January 29th vote by the MSBA commenced a period called "Eligibility" during which there is a tight time frame and list of prerequisites. 

These are: certification of the District’s understanding of the grant program rules; a summary of the District’s funding capacities; a summary of the District’s existing maintenance practices; certification of a design enrollment for the proposed project agreed upon by the MSBA; confirmation of community authorization and funding to proceed; and, execution of the MSBA’s standard Feasibility Study Agreement, which establishes a process for the District to be reimbursed for eligible expenses. Here is a graph of the process:  http://www.massschoolbuildings.org/building/prerequisites

Many of these have already been done. One of the big ones is the funding for the feasibility study. There are towns that have been invited into the process but the invitation has had to be rescinded because they were not able to move forward with this appropriation. The Feasibility Study Committee (we voted to dissolve just recently since our work is done) developed a presentation for the 2012 Annual Town Meeting. This is a shortened version of it:  http://www.snydersstoughton.com/FeasibilityStudyarticlePart1.pdf
There was a near unanimous vote in favor of a $1,000,000 appropriation for a feasibility study by town meeting members.

The Feasibility Study period (likely later this year after another MSBA vote) will begin the tight collaboration between the town and the MSBA to look at what the options are to meet the educational programming and facility needs at the high school. In the case of a nearby town, Norwood, there were about eight different options offered to meet the needs at their high school, each with schematic drawings and estimates.

The other major piece is the School Building Committee. This has to be in place by April 3. This is a very carefully controlled process by the state since Stoughton is now eligible for tens of millions of state money and expertise. The composition of the School Building Committee is proscribed by required roles, but there is community expertise in very particular areas to be tapped. The MSBA approval of the committee is required. This link shows the composition of the required School Building Committee:  http://www.massschoolbuildings.org/sites/default/files/edit-contentfile/Guidelines_Forms/Guidelines_...

If there are members of the community with architecture, engineering and/or construction experience they can apply for the School Building Committee by sending a résumé and letter to the Stoughton Town Manager. There will be a significant commitment of time with meetings that may be once or more per week over several years.

We, as a town, have collaborated together to make this very exciting project begin. It was town-wide support for the Stoughton High School  Statement of Interest (SOI) that made this happen. It is the TOWN that builds the school, in collaboration with the MSBA. 
We have a very long way to go but we are on our way!

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