The MSBA Celebrates the "Topping Off" of the new Southbridge Middle/High School

May 18, 2011

BOSTON, MA – Katherine Craven, Executive Director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”), was in Southbridge 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 to celebrate the last steel beam being put in place at the site of the new Southbridge Middle/High School.

The new 199,784 square-foot facility will replace Southbridge High School and Mary E. Wells Jr. High School. The new school will serve approximately 1,050 students in grades six through twelve. The total budget for this project is $76.5 million with the MSBA contributing 80% of eligible project costs -- or up to $53,757,038.

“In Southbridge’s case, the most educationally and fiscally appropriate solution was a new middle/high school to replace two aging facilities with extensive deficiencies,” said Executive Director Katherine Craven. “This is the type of collaboration and innovative thinking that will benefit not only Southbridge students, but also its taxpayers.”

“We worked hand-in-hand with Southbridge officials to find a design and a solution that best meets the district’s educational needs,” said State Treasurer Steven Grossman. “The construction of this new middle/high school will provide more than 1,000 students with a new, top-notch learning environment.”

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 $7.6 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.