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Letter: Summary of the Galvin Middle School Project

Selectmen John Encarnacao and Patrick S. Glynn, who also serve as chairs of the Permanent Building Committee and the Galvin Middle School Building Advisory Committee, share a basic rundown of what a new middle school in Wakefield would entail.

Citizens and Taxpayers of Wakefield,

Since the unanimous vote of town meeting on November 10, 2010, the Permanent Building Committee and the Galvin Middle School Building Advisory Committee have been diligently completing the process for the development of a Schematic Design suitable for the Town of Wakefield’s desire to complete a new Galvin Middle School.

These Committees have held numerous public meetings including three public forums designed to obtain input from citizens. Based on these meetings and the expertise of our Design team we have submitted our Schematic Design Package to the Massachusetts State Building Authority (MSBA) for approval. These meetings consisted of healthy discussions and deliberations among all members of the committees many of which have vast experience in engineering and construction management. Options discussed included a rehab of the existing building, partial rehab and new construction and finally all new construction.  After consultation with the MSBA, it was determined that the only option eligible for reimbursement was total new construction. Both Committees unanimously support the design presented. 

The normal reimbursement from the state would be 48.47% approximately $32 Million. This submission, however, also contains credits for an additional $3 Million in State funding. Wakefield will receive 1.73% extra for the submission of a comprehensive maintenance program, 2% for energy efficiency and 1% for utilizing the cutting edge Construction Management at Risk process. The CM at risk procedure allows the town to select the general contractor early on in the process on the basis of qualifications as well as a negotiated fee. By managing the process in this way the CM is responsible to meet a guaranteed maximum price for the project. This program is designed to reduce costly change orders. Overall the state will reimburse 53% of eligible costs, nearly $36 Million.

The proposed plan for new construction consists of an efficient 3-story layout located on the Southeast edge of the current site. The configuration not only maintains the existing number of parking spaces on the site but also maximizes field space.  The plan also maximizes the length of the access drive to accommodate the many pick-ups and drop offs on the site. This new building will be constructed in two phases.  The new academic wing will be constructed while the students remain in the existing school. This phased approach will save millions as NO swing spaces will be necessary.

Our design team and Owner’s Project Manager met frequently and received input from School department faculty and staff as well as representatives from Police, Fire, DPW, Technology, Building Inspector and Health Agent.  All Department Heads are in agreement that this is an excellent design.

The School is designed with the 5th grade on the ground floor, 6th on the second floor and the 7th and 8th on the third floor. The Cafeteria, Library and Media Center are located in the center of the building. Despite the fact that the State will Not finance auditoriums in middle schools both committees based upon the strong sentiments of the community included a new auditorium in the design.

The cost of this project has been determined by our designers through a State-mandated bidding process, the total estimated cost of which is $74,740,254, including contingencies, $35,703,505 (or 53%) of which will be paid by the State through the MSBA. The Town of Wakefield is familiar with the process of state reimbursement as we have and continue to receive state funds for the Dolbeare and Woodville Schools. The current State reimbursement model allows the Town of Wakefield to bond only our local share amount (approximately $39 million), rather than the entire cost of the project as in the past.  This change in the State funding mechanism saves the Town of Wakefield hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the project. 

The town has a strong history of managing its debt including refinancing a number of its existing bonds while also addressing our other infrastructure needs. However, it will be necessary to fund the New Galvin Middle School via debt exclusion. The projected cost per household is $175.00 per year for twenty years.

We invite you to view the project on the Town of Wakefield website @ www.wakefield.ma.us  (click on Galvin School Schematic Design under news and announcements on the home page).  We also plan to have the plans on display at the Library, Galvin Middle School and Town Hall in the near future. [You can also.]

 We look forward to further discussions and deliberations as we together look to provide the people of Wakefield with the best possible services and amenities. 

Respectfully Submitted,

Patrick S. Glynn
Chairman Galvin Middle School Building Advisory Committee

John B. Encarnacao
Chairman Permanent Building Committee

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