The MSBA Celebrates the "Topping Off" of the New Putnam Vocational Technical High School

February 17, 2011

BOSTON, MA – Katherine Craven, Executive Director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) was in Springfield today. On behalf of State Treasurer Steven Grossman, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the MSBA, she took part in the “Topping Off” ceremony at the site of the new Putnam Vocational Technical High School celebrating the last steel beam being put in place. The new Putnam will serve 1,400 students and is expected to be completed in July 2012. The total original budget for the school is $125 million with the MSBA contributing 90% of eligible costs. Springfield has already achieved $15 million in construction bid savings. Through the MSBA’s Pro-Pay system, which reimburses communities for eligible construction costs as they are incurred, Springfield has already received $18 million from the MSBA for this project. The new facility will allow the school to add the following programs to its curriculum: plumbing, welding and metal fabrication, medical technology, hospitality and tourism, marketing, machine technology, robotics and automation.“I am pleased to be able to take part in this Topping Off ceremony,” stated Executive Director Katherine Craven. “As a result of the collaboration between the MSBA and Springfield, Putnam students and staff will have an improved, efficient environment for learning and teaching,”

“The main goal of the MSBA is to build economically and educationally appropriate schools,” State Treasurer Steven Grossman stated. “This new facility will allow the district to provide more vocational and technical programs to prepare the young people of Springfield for the high-tech, well-paying jobs of tomorrow.”

The MSBA strives to find the right-sized, most fiscally responsible and educationally appropriate solutions to create safe and sound learning environments. The MSBA is committed to protecting the taxpayer’s dollar by improving the school building grant process and avoiding the mistakes of the past in the funding and construction of schools. The MSBA reformed the Commonwealth’s formerly rampant and unsustainable program, which was more than $11 billion in debt. The MSBA has made $7.4 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.