Newton School Committee Moves Forward with Angier Rebuilding Study
The Newton School Committee approved the funds necessary to conduct a feasibility study for Angier Elementary school.
Following last week's news that the rebuilding of Angier Elementary is on a "fast track," the Newton School Committee has pushed the project forward one more step.
"This is a priority for all of us to move forward as quickly as possible," said Mayor Setti Warren.
Although the exact cost of the study is not known, Newton Chief Financial Officer Maureen Lemieux said the $750,000 is "a good target number."
Lemieux explained that the $750,000 would come from fiscal 2012 health care savings.
"We've had a very successful year for health insurance costs," Lemieux said.
During last week's special meeting on the Angier project, City Project Manager Alex Valcarce said the Newton district must show financial support for a feasibility study in order to complete an application for a Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) grant program.
Last month the MSBA invited Newton to apply for the program, which would involve a partnership between Newton and the MSBA during the rebuilding process. If the MSBA agrees to partner with Newton in the project, there are specific steps along the way the district will have to take in order to receive reimbursement for part of the building costs, Valcarce explained.
At a meeting in December, Guryan said it is possible the MSBA could pay for as much as a third of the project's total cost if Newton is accepted into the program. With an estimated $25-30 million price tag, that would put the city's share at around $20 million.
If the reimbursement comes through, Lemieux noted last night that the MSBA could potentially pay back $200,000 of that $750,000 feasibility study investment.
At 90-years old, Angier Elementary is the oldest school building in the district. Prior to the committee's vote, a number of Waban and Upper Falls parents stood up to give their support for the feasibility study and rebuilding.
Waban resident and Angier PTO Co-President Sally DiLoreto expressed her love for the school faculty and community, but underlined the problems with the building itself.
"We make do, but the conditions are dire," DiLoreto said, noting the recent flooding in the Angier gym. "Our children deserve a better, physical environment."
Angier After School Program Director Peter Roché said it would be "thrilling" to have a new and improved after school environment.
"We all love the heart of the place, we love the soul of the place -- but the creaking structure of the place, not so much," Roché said.