Friday, May 3, 2013
The answer is $92.6 million when all is said and done. City officials estimate property taxes will rise on average by $108 six times to cover payments on a 30-year bond for the new middle school.
So what it's going to cost for a new middle school in Peabody? An average increase of $108 for taxpayers six times over the next 30 years. A tentative debt service schedule from City Finance Director Patricia Schaffer shows payments due for a 30-year bond in fiscal years 2015, 2020, 2025, 2030, 2035 and 2044. Mayor Ted Bettencourt and the Higgins School Building Committee received a favorable recommendation from the City Council's Finance Committee this week to authorize the city to borrow up to the total amount the project is going to cost ($92.6 million). Here's a breakdown of that number and how much the state will reimburse the city: A portion of the ineligible costs above are for the school auditorium -- the MSBA is only willing to …
Monday, April 8, 2013
Mayor Ted Bettencourt will now be going before the City Council for authorization of a bond order for the full $92.6 million for the project.
The Mass. School Building Authority's board of directors announced last week they are committed to funding a major share of a new middle school for Peabody. The board voted to approve a grant up to $43.68 million or a reimbursement rate of 56.16 percent of eligible costs for construction of a new building to replace the aging J. Henry Higgins Middle School. That leaves the city with about $48.9 million to pay, according to Mayor Ted Bettencourt. That reimbursement rate includes additional points for maintenance and energy efficiency in the new building. Peabody officials submitted schematic designs and a detailed budget package to the MSBA on Feb. 14 and the projection then was about $91 million, and now Bettencourt is asking the City …
Thursday, February 21, 2013
The journey toward a new middle school in Peabody is still only halfway through the journey of local and state approvals and designs needed before construction can finally begin.
The next step in the chain of approvals for Peabody's new middle school is for the board of directors at the Mass. School Building Authority to approve schematic designs and a detailed budget the local project team submitted on Valentine's Day. Once that happens, a funding proposal would be submitted to the City Council -- that would also be subject to review by the MSBA -- and once that agreement is in place, still more detailed plans will be drawn up in order to put the construction project out to bid. The School Committee voted Feb. 12 to send along the schematics for the new Higgins Middle School to the MSBA, following up on a recent public presentation of those plans. The MSBA board will make a decision at its April 3 meeting. One …
Friday, February 1, 2013
The new Higgins Middle School will include lots of windows, among many other features.
Earlier this week when the design team for the new Higgins Middle School showed off the latest schematic plans for the campus, there was a short video within the presentation. That "fly-through," as it were, offers a bird's eye view of a virtual campus, full of trees, new athletic fields and lots of windows on that new school building. The schematic plans, budget and project schedule will be submitted to the Mass. School Building Authority's board of directors by Feb. 15 for approval.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Schematic designs for the new middle school were presented to the public at a special School Committee meeting Tuesday night.
The School Committee and members of the public, which included a few immediate neighbors to the project, got a good look at the schematic designs for the new Higgins Middle School Tuesday night. A few city councilors and state Rep. Ted Speliotis were also in attendance. Those designs are far more detailed with floor plans, the shape of the building, exterior layout of the site and specific traffic patterns than the conceptual renderings the public saw this past summer. DiNisco Design Partnerships also created a three-dimensional "fly-through" view of the new school campus. "It looks like we’re getting close to this dream becoming a reality and it looks spectacular," said School Committee member David McGeney when it was time for feedback…
Monday, January 28, 2013
The public will be able to get a look at much more detailed designs for a new Higgins Middle School on Jan. 29, along with a general update on the project.
Architects and the project management firm toiling away at the final designs and documents for the new Higgins Middle School are almost done with their task, according to local officials overseeing the project. The public will have an opportunity to see those schematics and get a general update on the project this week before it's all shipped off to the Mass. School Building Authority for approval. This latest update will include floor plans, specific traffic patterns, work schedules, costs, etc. The School Committee will host an informational public meeting Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Kiley School. Committeewoman Beverley Griffin Dunne said the Higgins School Building Committee, which she chairs, will take a last vote to recommend the final …
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The city's School Building Committee is now working on the final design, budget and construction schedule for a new middle school to submit to state education officials for approval this spring.
Peabody won't be invited into the Mass. School Building Authority's model school program after all for construction of a new Higgins Middle School, according to city officials. Mayor Ted Bettencourt says the city, instead, will pursue a custom-designed school with the same team that has been working on the project for the past two years. The custom option is also projected to cost about $90 million, which is $3 million more than what a model school would be. The MSBA's board of directors voted this past July to authorize Peabody to build a new state-of-the-art middle school, but did not determine at that time which option the city should pursue. The city's School Building Committee met last Thursday to begin working toward the final …
Thursday, July 26, 2012
State officials say new Higgins school a top priority. "It will get built."
The board of directors for the Mass. School Building Authority unanimously voted Wednesday to authorize Peabody to build a new state-of-the-art middle school, officially stamping that option as the best solution for the Higgins School and middle school education in Peabody. The project now heads into a schematic design phase where more of the specific details on design, scope, budget and scheduling will be hashed out between the MSBA and Peabody officials in the coming months. The tentative outlook is for a new school to be ready for students in the fall of 2016. The conceptual plans look at erecting a new three-story school on athletic fields next to the Higgins, which would resolve many of the longstanding interior building issues, as …
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The MSBA's board of directors meets Wednesday to consider, among other items, whether or not to authorize the city to build a new middle school.
Mayor Ted Bettencourt hopes it's all good news to share Wednesday after the board of the directors at the Mass. School Building Authority takes its vote that morning on whether to authorize a new middle school for Peabody or not. The board is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. in Boston. Bettencourt is then holding a press conference at 2:30 p.m. in his office at Peabody City Hall. Bettencourt, who has pushed for a new school since taking office, said last week that he is confident the decision will come through. He said the city was contacted by the MSBA recently with some questions on educational issues and those points seemed to be satisfied in the city's response. There has only been encouragement over the past several months from MSBA …
Friday, May 4, 2012
City Council and School Committee united in endorsing plan to build new middle school.
City councilors and school board members were united in their support Thursday night to pursue building a new middle school to replace the J. Henry Higgins School. Both the council and School Committee unanimously endorsed the recommendation made by the Higgins School Building Committee last month to present a new school as the preferred option to the Mass. School Building Authority instead of performing major renovations on the Higgins. The endorsement, while only symbolic, still is key to demonstrating to the MSBA that the entire community is backing the project, Mayor Ted Bettencourt says. "I think we can all work together and take a big step forward for education in this city and build a first class [school] for our kids, and I'm very …