AP NEWS

Estimated Cost of New Elementary School Due Thursday

December 19, 2018

TEWKSBURY -- The Elementary School Building Committee is set to announce the estimated cost of the proposed new elementary school during its Thursday meeting.

This last meeting before the new year will take place at Town Hall at 6 p.m. The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) is expected to fund about 52 percent what is eligible for reimbursement, according to Dennis Francis, a School Committee member and chair of the Elementary School Building Committee. For example, the new athletic field that is planned would not be reimbursed.

But there is potential for that reimbursement to be increased if Tewksbury voters support the project.

“We want to put in everything that we really want to get,” Francis said. “We want to make sure that this project is the best project it can be.”

The three-story school for up to 790 students in second through fourth grade is proposed at the existing Ryan Elementary School site.

The Elementary School Building Committee has stressed the importance of up-to-date technology, enhanced special education spaces, improved security, and more at the new school. Francis said he expects the total cost to be outlined sometime in January.

The project is still in the schematic design phase. The full project scope will be presented to the MSBA on Jan. 2. On Feb. 13, the MSBA Board of Directors will vote to either approve or reject the project.

The goal is for the building to officially open its doors for the 2022 school year and service children from the existing Dewing, Heath Brook, Trahan and North Street schools. The new project will include a new stadium and the demolition of the existing Central Office.

The Elementary School Building Committee will be looking for the community’s support through a ballot question and Annual Town Meeting article in 2019.

Going forward, Francis said they will be hosting more community forums to answer questions and get input from residents.

Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.