East Meadow site favored for new Granby school

by Town Reminder

East Meadow site favored for new Granby school
 
By Walter Hamilton
Turley Correspondent

GRANBY – A committee studying options for building a new elementary school has eliminated all plans for construction at the West Street School site, and focused all its attention to three options at the East Meadow School site.
At a Feb. 12 meeting, the West Street School Building Committee directed Jones Whitsett Architects of Greenfield to further refine plans to build an addition or a new school on the East Meadow School site. Three options for such plans at West Street were eliminated from further consideration.
The options at East Meadow include:
building an addition in front of the existing school for grades pre-kindergarten to grade 3 and renovation of the existing school at an estimated cost to town taxpayers of $17.5-18.5 million, leaving West Street School for reuse or demolition;
building a new pre-K to grade 3 school  that would be built in front of the existing school without any renovation to the current structure for $12-13 million, leaving West Street School for reuse or demolition; and
building a new pre-K to grade 6 school that would be built in front of the existing school for $17-18 million, leaving both existing West Street and East Meadow school buildings available for reuse or demolition.
Cost estimates for the town share of the projects represent approximately half their total costs, with the remaining half coming from the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
During the committee’s three-hour meeting in the West Street School library, members quickly eliminated from consideration the proposed renovation of West Street School because its $13-14 million price tag would not be eligible for reimbursement under the same MSBA program as the other options.
The board then rejected other options for the West Street site that included plans similar to those proposed at East Meadow – a pre-K to grade 3 addition and renovation; a new pre-K to grade 3 building and a new pre-K to grade 6 building.
The West Street options were rejected in part because two of the three would have included costs for temporary relocation of students and would encumber non-reimbursable costs associated with mitigation of hazardous materials.
The school’s well, now located under the parking lot, would have to be moved and the town’s salt shed might also need to be moved.
Building at West Street would also preclude sharing of staff among the schools; would require the maintenance of three buildings, rather than two; and require buses to continue three runs daily, rather than two.
The architects are scheduled to return to the board on March 5 with more detailed plans and cost estimates for each of the three East Meadow options.
A decision to designate a single plan could be made then.
Once a single plan is approved, a public outreach effort is contemplated during the following two weeks.
On April 9, the committee must vote to approve a Preferred Schematic Report that will be sent to the MSBA for consideration.
The final MSBA approval would come on June 3.

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