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Fate of Stoughton High and South School Statements of Interest Still to be Determined

The Massachusetts School Building Authority's Board of Directors meet in October and November, at which time Stoughton will learn if its Statement of Interest for either Stoughton High or the South School has been accepted.

(SOI) were for both Stoughton High School and the South Elementary School back in January of this year, which is the first step in a lengthy process for replacing or renovating a school.

The SOIs detailed numerous physical issues with both buildings.

But a decision on either SOI has yet to be made, so the School Department is left to wait for a verdict.

"The [School] Committee has done everything possible to present the best possible candidacy," Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marguerite Rizzi said at the August 28 School Committee meeting. "[We're] holding our breath and waiting to see."

The MSBA has two more Board of Directors meetings before the end of the year - one in October and one in November, at which time Stoughton will learn its fate.

"This process is out of our hands for the moment," Dr. Rizzi said.

While SOIs have been submitted for Stoughton High and the South, SHS is the district's top priority, school officials have said. If either SOI is accepted, the MSBA will invite Stoughton into the Eligibility Period, the next step in the process.

If this happens, Stoughton will be well-positioned since the 2012 Annual Town Meeting already an article to fund a - a required component to getting any funding from the MSBA towards a construction project.

A feasibility study, according to the School Department's presentation at Town Meeting, will help:

  • Identify a school's educational program needs, determine if existing facilities meet those needs, and propose design alternatives to correct deficiencies.
  • Develop conceptual site and building plans. Options could include renovation, addition, and new construction. Narratives are provided for structural, mechanical, electrical, and life-safety systems, as well as specifications and costs for each option. Schematic designs will be prepared for the preferred option.

But, before a Feasibility Study can be done, Stoughton will have to have one of its SOIs accepted.

According to the MSBA website, 121 school districts in Massachusetts submitted a combined total of 280 Statements of Interest in FY2012, including the two from Stoughton. Of the 280 submissions, 40 percent were resubmitted from previous years and 34 percent were re-certified FY2011 SOIs, so it is not a guarantee that a SOI is accepted.

However, regardless of the outcome at the MSBA Board of Directors Meeting, the School Department is ready to go to work.

If Stoughton receives an invitation, Dr. Rizzi said the School Department will "immediately" start working towards a feasibility study. And if Stoughton does not receive an invitation, she said the School Department will "immediately" start the process of resubmitting the SOIs for FY2013.

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