MSBA Responds to Editor Regarding Boston Globe Article on the Model School Program

September 24, 2014

 To the Editor:

The Globe’s September 14th article “State Rethinking Model School Designs” could give readers the impression that the Massachusetts School Building Authority is either:

  1.  Scaling back the Model School Program; or
  2.  Unsure of the program’s economic effectiveness.

Both of these perceptions are inaccurate.
Since its 2008 inception, 18 school construction projects have participated in the MSBA’s Model School Program, which streamlines the architectural phase of construction by adapting and re-using proven design elements from successful, flexible schools. Each of these projects has saved money for our taxpayers through participation in the Program.  Model School Program savings are achieved through a range of factors that include: greater predictability in design cost, reduced designer fees, expedited design time and faster project completion.

As I mentioned to your reporter, the construction of Norwood High School is a clear example of the Program’s cost-saving effectiveness. In that case, the district saved $31.3 million through a combination of the Model School Program efficiencies and favorable bidding conditions – conditions that would have been unavailable to the district had it not participated in the Program.

Indeed, the MSBA is so satisfied with the Model School Program’s performance that we are expanding it. We are encouraging architects who have designed newly-constructed Massachusetts public schools to submit their design for consideration as a model school.

The MSBA is fully confident that this exemplary program will continue to benefit Massachusetts taxpayers, school districts, teachers, and most importantly, students for years to come.


Jack McCarthy
Executive Director
Massachusetts School Building Authority