MSBA Announces $23.1 Million Grant Approval for New "Model" Elementary School in Westfield

September 28, 2011

The Massachusetts School Building Authority Announces $23.1 Million Grant Approval for a New "Model" Elementary School in Westfield

MSBA Board votes to contribute up to $23,197,382 towards the new school

State Treasurer Steven Grossman, Chairman of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”), and Katherine Craven, MSBA Executive Director, today announced that the MSBA Board of Directors voted to approve funding to build a new elementary school in Westfield as part of the MSBA’s Model School Program. The new school will replace the Abner Gibbs, Franklin Avenue, and Juniper Park Elementary Schools.

The agreed upon design enrollment for the new model elementary school will be for 600 students in grades K-5. The MSBA will be contributing up to 67.98% of eligible costs for a total grant of up to $23,197,382 towards the new school.

“I am pleased that Westfield identified the Model School Program as good fit and is able to take advantage of these potential savings,” said Treasurer Grossman. “This design will provide the city’s elementary school students with a modern learning environment that fully supports the district’s educational plan.”

“I look forward to continuing our work with Westfield during this next stage in the process to build a new Model School that meets MSBA guidelines and will educate generations of Westfield students,” said Katherine Craven, Executive Director of the MSBA.

“The Massachusetts School Building Authority has been a tremendous partner for Westfield,” said Senator Michael Knapik. “The District has submitted some complex solutions as they work to address their school facility needs for the coming generation, and the MSBA has been a constructive and collaborative partner in these efforts.”

The MSBA’s Model School Program effectively adapts and re-uses design elements from successful, recently-constructed schools, simplifying the design process, reducing the amount of time projects are in the design phase, and lowering design fees. Using elements of a previously designed Model School allows projects to begin construction faster and reduces overall costs for the project. At least a year of design work can be saved by using a Model School.

The MSBA strives to find the right-sized, most fiscally-responsible, and educationally-appropriate solutions to create safe and sound learning environments. In its six year history, the MSBA has made more than $8 billion in reimbursements to cities, towns, and regional school districts for school construction projects. These timely payments have saved municipalities over $2.9 billion in avoided local interest costs and have provided much needed cash flow to communities in these difficult economic times.