Who are the Friends of Scituate’s Future (FoSF)?
FoSF is a grassroots community group dedicated to improving our town. Our current mission is to improve the 98 year old Gates Middle School building. By improving Scituate’s schools, we improve our entire town—excellent schools ensure the sound future of our town as well as enhanced property values. Note that FoSF is open to all residents who desire to make a positive difference for Scituate.
What does the Feasibility Study include? . . .
The MSBA Feasibility Phase, which will take approximately four to six months to complete, includes a tremendous amount of information. First, an Owner’s Project Manager is hired along with a Project Team of approximately twenty people. The team is made up of various types of engineers, educational consultants, and town & community representatives. This team, working with the school district, produces an educational vision for all of Scituate (not just the middle school). Based on that vision, the team determines what physical assets are needed to appropriately educate our students according to 21st century learning standards. Site visits to all of Scituate’s educational buildings, extensive evaluation of current conditions, future enrollment projections to determine need, and analyses of potential new sites are conducted. An outcome of the plan includes schematic architectural options for Scituate. The educational plan for the district, in conjunction with analysis of current building assets, will drive the team’s recommendation.
Why are the schools getting more money while the seniors STILL wait for a senior center? I have had enough of waiting. Unfortunately, state funds do not exist for senior centers. By taking advantage of state money for education, more local money will be available for senior needs. Ultimately, a portion of the existing Gates building may prove suitable for a new senior center. Only a comprehensive study can determine the appropriate allocation of existing building resources.
Why do I keep hearing about the MSBA? Who are they?
The MSBA (Massachusetts School Building Authority) is an organization that was created by State Treasurer Tim Cahill in 2004 to eliminate wasteful spending and bring reform and innovation to the school building process. The MSBA strives to work with local communities to create affordable, sustainable, and energy efficient schools across Massachusetts.
Have we ever built a school building with the MSBA?
No, Scituate has not built a new school facility since the MSBA was formed. This is a prime opportunity for our town to qualify for substantial state funds to improve our aging middle school facility. However, Scituate received, through participation in the MSBA green repair program, $1.8M in state funds for building repairs representing a 40.68% state reimbursement rate.
Note that considerable state investment has gone into neighboring communities of Hingham $34.6M, Duxbury $49M, Marshfield $48M, and Hanover $21M. It is our turn.
What are the major steps in the process and where are we in that process?
Why build now? Districts currently building with the MSBA have received very competitive bids, often resulting in projects coming in below budget because of current economic conditions. Interest rates are also at an all time low. This is an excellent time to make an investment in Scituate’s future. It is also the most cost effective way to fix the many issues with the Gates building.