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Wakefield Chooses 'Yes' for a New Galvin

Voters decided by a margin of 4474 to 1020 to build a new Galvin Middle School in Wakefield.

Eight years after the last vote the town took on whether or not to build a new middle school, Wakefield voters changed their minds on Saturday: It's finally time for a new Galvin. 

The Town of Wakefield approved a debt exclusion on June 9th by a vote of 4474 to 1020, or 81 percent to 18 percent to finance the $74 million project, with $38 million coming from the town and the rest coming from the state. 

The current Galvin Middle School is 60 years old, undersized for the amount of students that attend according to state guidelines, and was deemed by the state to require too many major architectural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical system upgrades to renovate. 

Building the new school
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013 with a completion date of August 2015.

In the first phase, which will start in June 2013 and end in August 2014, part of the school will be knocked down to make way for the academic and adminstrative portions of the new school.

In the second phase, the current academic wing would be removed to make way for a new auditorium, gymnasium, fields, and more. 

Cost for individuals
While the state is paying for $34.6 million, the town of Wakefield is still on the hook for $38.5 of the $74.6 million project, a sum that will take the town 25 years to pay off. 

The projected cost of the project per household is $188 per year, based on a house valued at $400,000 for a period of 25 years. 

To calculate your exact personal cost, take your home's assessed value and multiply by .00047. 

Chris June 11, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I was very concerned that the debt exclusion would not passed but with reading the results, I am very proud of all my fellow Wakefield residences. I have been a resident of Wakefield all my life, and if things go as planned, my Grandson will be attending the new school as a seventh grader when it opens. Please don't think this won't be a sacrifice for some people though. $180 per year still may represent a significant amount of money for some people. It is most important now, that the people that oversee the building of the new school make sure it is done right. There is a poor history of getting what we paid for or were promised in at the last 3 town buildings or expansions. The school needs to be built on time, in budget, and to all the specifications as promised. The school committee must budget and spend the required amount of money for yearly maintenance. Prove that the Yes vote for the debt exclusion bill was the right thing to do.
Lisa Butler June 11, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I am very pleased that it passed so overwhelmingly. There have been comments about the project costs going over by 25%. It won't happen because the MSBA (MA School Building Authority) won't let it happen. The process that has been put in place since the Newton North HS debacle has been very efficient. The MSBA is part of the project every step of the way. There is already a contingency amount built in to the project costs. The school projects under the guidance of the MSBA have been on time and on budget.
Lisa Butler June 11, 2012 at 03:05 PM
As far as all the talk about the high school being next - yes the high school is in rough shape and in need of renovations. However, unless the MSBA deems it in need of improvements and approves a feasibility study for it, we can't move forward on it. The same is true for an elementary school ugrade.
Tim OLeary June 11, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Congratulations Wakefield! This is a big step in the right direction. The current Selectman and members of the GALVANIZE effort who worked tirelessly to run a strong campaign should be pleased with the percentage of well informed and forward thinking residents who voted "YES" on Saturday. As a senior citizen I have been concerned about declining property values. As a proud grand-parent of kids coming along in the school system, I was concerned about their quality education and facilities condusive to learning. Today I am thankful that Wakefield pulled together as a community for the good of the community. I hope this will be the catalyst for other improvements in the downtown area. Wakefield and its proximity to Boston can become a more desirable and vibrant town with a minimal effort. One suggestion... updated downtown signage. Again... congratulations Wakefield.
Donald June 12, 2012 at 11:44 AM
I would just like to thank galvanize group for getting the information out to the people. Thank you don

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