Friday, September 26, 2008

Something to Consider

As Longmeadow moves forward on the path toward the construction of a new high school, the newly formed Longmeadow School Building Committee should consider our new high school project being included in the Massachusetts School Building Authority's Model Schools Program.

This program considers use of existing designs in order to reduce the overall cost. According to a recent article in the Boston Globe the town of Norwood, MA which is ahead of Longmeadow with the new HS building process is considering this option. With this new program the state also provides financial incentives for towns involved to reduce the financial impact.

The picture above shows Whitman-Hanson High School in Whitman, MA built in 2005 which currently accommodates 1,250 students in grades 9 through 12 and is projected to meet the district’s needs for 50 years. The 232,000-square-foot school cost $49.2 million.

According to an article in the Patriot Ledger.... "the school is also a pilot project for the Massachusetts Green Initiative, a partnership between the School Building Authority and Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. Natural light reduces consumption of electricity. The building is well insulated and has a 51-kilowatt solar electric array on the roof. A 20,000-gallon underground tank collects storm runoff from the roof; the water is used to flush the school’s toilets."

Perhaps, we might not end up with a "unique" building structure but the financial impact on our town might be significantly reduced.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this posting. The concept of "model" new school building is interesting and appears to take some of the cost out of the process. I do like the idea that energy conservation is part of the model. I agree that Longmeadow should stronly consider this.........thank you for posting the info.

Christine Swanson said...

Jim, Thank you for posting this information. The School Building Committee and the MSBA have not decided on a course of action as of yet. The feasibility study will provide us with the information necessary to decide if new construction (Model School) or renovation would be the best. The decision is then presented to the residents for a vote. This is about 1-2 years out.

We need to vote yes at town meeting on October 28th for feasility study and yes on ballot question 4 on November 4th in order to fund this study.