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New middle school qualifies for supplemental grant funding

Posted on November 3, 2023

The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) recently notified Holyoke officials that they will provide additional reimbursement for the new middle school construction project. The Owner’s Project Manager (Anser Advisory) has estimated the additional funding will be approximately $11.7 million, which would bring the MSBA’s total contribution to an estimated $57.6 million. This would reduce the City of Holyoke’s share of the total construction costs to an estimated $27 million—or 32% of the total cost.

This is the second wave of financial good news for the construction project: In September, Holyoke officials learned that construction cost projections came in $4 million to $5 million less than the previously estimated $70.6 million construction cost, although those projections could still change. (Keep in mind: The total $85.5 million cost of the project includes architect and project management fees, insurance, furniture, technology, and other related costs that are not physical parts of the new school building.) If the actual bid costs come in at or near the prior estimate, it will greatly increase the likelihood that Holyoke can include about $1.8 million in alternate sitework. This work could include a pedestrian and bus connection between the new middle school and the high school campus.

Next steps for the rest of this school year include:

  • November 2023: Finalize construction documents and advertise for construction bids in two stages (filed sub-bids followed by general contractor bids).
  • December 2023: Complete demolition of existing Peck School.
  • Early 2024: Review bids and select lowest qualified bidder.

In June 2023, the City of Holyoke and the MSBA approved funding to build a new middle school for approximately 550 students. The new school is an important component of Holyoke’s efforts to  strengthen educational learning opportunities and reimagine the middle school experience. The new middle school will replace the poorly designed, energy-inefficient William R. Peck Middle School that no longer meets the needs of a modern education.

More information is available on the district website.

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