Story of a Building Seminar, February 2016

Presented By: 

  • The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Glenn A. Cunha, Inspector General
  • The Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Official Program (MCPPO)
  • The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA)

For the third consecutive year the MSBA has collaborated with the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General’s MCPPO Program to provide a training opportunity at a recently completed MSBA school building. The day-long Story of a Building Seminar highlights MSBA processes and provides attendees with relevant information about partnering with the MSBA from the perspective of local school districts.

The program was held on February 4th at the Estabrook Elementary School in Lexington. An audience of approximately 100 people, representing school districts recently invited by the MSBA into the grant process and other districts looking forward to a future invitation, experienced a unique opportunity to tour the new elementary school and learn from panel speakers about the MSBA’s school building partnership. 

The seminar included a speaking program, panel discussions, the film "Most Likely To Succeed," and a tour of the Estabrook facility provided by school administrators and the design team. See the links below for more information from the seminar:

(Pictured above) Estabrook Principal Sandy Trach 
addressesparticipants. This was the largest attended
Story of A Building Seminar to date.


With discussions about 21st Century Education abounding, the focus of the program in Lexington was on the importance of a strong, forward-looking educational program. A district’s “Educational Program” is submitted to the MSBA and reviewed by the Facilities Assessment Subcommittee. Two members of that Subcommittee, MSBA Board members, Terry Kwan and Matt Deninger, were participants on a panel entitled, "Keys to MSBA and DESE Support for the Educational Program and Next Steps."

During the panel discussion, "21st Century Teaching and Learning and the Impact on School Design," MSBA Senior Architect, Karl Brown, informed the group about a helpful resource, the Educational Facility Planning page, replete with examples of MSBA-approved Educational Program documents and learning environment design documents. This new resource is expected to be a great utility to districts new to the MSBA grant program. Mr. Brown noted “The educational program is the driver of not only the MSBA process, but the school design process.”  

  MSBA Board Member Terry Kwan emphasized the importance of a well-planned educational program and how that plan should guide the design process to best fulfill the needs of the District.  Ms. Kwan also provided useful insight to the components of a successful partnership between the district and the MSBA in the building process.
MSBA Board Member Matt Deninger discussed the importance of forward-thinking in the educational program and design of the school for districts to accommodate both the needs of today and 25-50 years into the future. Mr. Deninger also talked about special education program spaces and the advantages of designing those spaces to be integrated into the life of the building.    
  The fourth panelists: (L to R) MSBA Senior Architect Karl Brown, Scituate Superintendent Dr. John McCarthy, and Duxbury Assistant Superintendent and Curriculum Director, Dr. Laurie Hunter. Mr. Brown gave examples for educational program planning and provided information about resources here on the MSBA website to help districts in their planning. 


A few more photos from the seminar:

MSBA Executive Director/Deputy CEO Jack McCarthy gives closing remarks MSBA Board Member Terry Kwan, MSBA CEO Maureen Valente, and Lexington Superintendent Mary Czajkowski look at different features during the tour of the school.  
MSBA Director of Strategic Planning Barbara Hansberry coordinated the event and served as moderator.  The first panelists, (L to R) Estabrook Principal Sandy Trach, Scituate Superintendent John McCarthy, Ipswich School Committee Member Barry Hopping, Ipswich Town Manager Robin Crosbie, and Lexington Town Manager Carl Valente speak to Barbara Hansberry before starting their panel "District Readiness to Partner with the MSBA."  
A typical classroom at the Joseph Estabrook Elementary School. The entrance to the school.  
MSBA Board Members Matt Deninger and Terry Kwan exploring smart board technology in the media center.   The second panelists, (L to R) Estabrook Principal Sandy Trach, (speaking) Lexington Director of Facilities Patrick Goddard, President/Principal DiNisco Design Partnership Ken DiNisco, Hill International Project Director Paul Kalous, Ipswich School Committee Member Barry Hopping and Ipswich Town Manager Robin Crosbie discuss their panel "Building the Project Team and Developing Ground Rules."