The MSBA Celebrates the "Topping Off" of the new Memorial High School in Tewksbury

May 19, 2011

BOSTON, MA – Katherine Craven, Executive Director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”) was in Tewksbury 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 Memorial High School which is being built through the MSBA’s Model School Program. The school is designed to accommodate 1,100 students.

The MSBA’s Model Schools Program effectively adapts and re-uses design elements from successful 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 construction costs for the project. At least a year of design work can be saved by using a model.

“I am proud to participate in this ‘Topping Off’ ceremony,” said Executive Director Katherine Craven. “Our Model School Program continues to save communities valuable time and money while creating modern, sustainable learning facilities and soon the students and teachers of Tewksbury will reap the benefits.”

“The MSBA’s Model School program not only benefits students – it also results in significant savings to taxpayers,” said State Treasurer Steven Grossman. “In Tewksbury, both time and money were saved by adapting successful design elements from Hudson High School. At the end of the day, we will have a new Memorial High School that will relieve overcrowding, eliminate antiquated science labs, and provide new dedicated special education classrooms.”

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.