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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. 

mike t June 10, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Have fun paying for it and have fun paying for the High school which is sure to be next. Have fun fixing this "NEW" school when it fails from lack of maintenance. Have fun when every little bit of Wakefield history that once made it such a great place to live is torn down and replaced. Its official...The residents of Wakefield can be brainwashed by the town administration. What can we con them into buying next?...
LARRY CRISPO June 10, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Thank you to the caring people of Wakefield for providing a safe,"smell free" and ,what appears to be, a future jewel on Main Street. I believe this could act as a catalyst for the downtown area.Kudos to the town administration and the the GALVINIZE organization for a job well done. Larry C.
J cohen June 10, 2012 at 02:11 AM
I'm so happy my children will be able to go to School and not have to worry about mold and poor AC and lack of adequate space. A new Galvin is doing nothing but securing the educational future of my children and making Wakefield a better place to live.
m m mitchell June 10, 2012 at 02:24 AM
mike t, I went to this school back in the late 70's, early 80's. It was old then, it's older now. What's your idea?
Martie vatalaro June 10, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Even though I am 63 and my daughter is many years removed from Wakefield public schools, I understand that it's about a larger family -- our community in Wakefield. I voted "yes." glad we finally did the right thing for our town. Martie V.
Dennis Clancy June 10, 2012 at 04:42 AM
This is a foolish, mainly emotional commitment in these very uncertain times. What was the rush? I would have waited until the economy recovers or is at least on the right path. The cost does not justify the benefit, our kids are already getting a good education. The "temporary" $188 tax increase figure is unrealistic. It is predicated on the $74 million estimate which is the sugar coated version in my opinion. I anticipate a cost overrun of at least 25% which is typical of many private projects. Add to that the inevitable hike in interest rates coming soon after the election. That Starbucks coffee is becoming dinner for 4 at the 99. Add to that the IDEALISTIC DREAM of a temporary tax. Do you really believe that? I do not. Even if it were true it is only temporary to those who will be here in 25 years. The people in power then will find other ways to spend OUR money with the new found revenue. I hope I am wrong.
Michele June 10, 2012 at 12:22 PM
What I have found interesting throughout this entire process is the fact that the citizens that are against the new Galvin consistantly bring up unproven facts, vague "what if's" and blatent misinformation. Beginning with the feasibility study, this has been a well researched, documented and public process that has published proven facts time and time again. If you are against it because you just don't want to spend an extra $188 a year, then just say it, but please stop with the nonsense. What's the rush? Dennis, are you serious? Since I've moved to Wakefield 10 years ago there has been proponents trying to get the Galvin replaced. Is 10 years "rushing it"? Can you prove that there will be an overrun in cost or a hike in interest rates that will increase the cost of this project? Can you prove that in 25 years the "people in power" will find other ways to spend our money? Mike T, where is the proof that the people of Wakefield are being brainwashed? Perhaps instead they went to one of the MANY forums explaining GALVINIZE, perhaps they discussed the FACTS with the Financial Committe, perhaps they toured the Galvin and saw the outdated electrical system, the black mold, the tiles that fall out of the ceiling randomly, and the buckets they use to collect the drops of rain that fall through the ceiling. Seriously folks, if you are against it PROVE why, don't just throw out random statments that have no basis in fact.
John Crisley June 10, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Yesterday's vote to build a new Galvin Middle School was a smart, good-old fashioned case of common sense. As Selectment John Encarnacao said on WCAT television, recently, to continue to spend major sums renovation of the exisitng Galvin is a case of throwing good money after bad. A new school will benefit both familes with children and without children as quality schools maintain OR increase property values. Just ask any prospective person looking to buy their first home: would they buy a home in a community with new, 21st century schools OR would they buy in a community with a 60 year old building in need of major renovation, that is overcrowded, and smells bad? When the new school is proudly standing in town center in three years everyone who voted yesterday will feel they made the right decision. Congratulations to every resident who stepped up and voted "Yes".
PETER MEUSE June 10, 2012 at 05:20 PM
I agree the school is falling apart, but it should have been maintained through out the years, instead of just letting it fall apart! If something fails or breaks in your home you repair it, you don't just let everything go and then say, I think I'll tear it down and build a new one. This school was never maintained, with the thought in mind years ago, Oh well, we'll just build another one.
John Bengtson June 10, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Congratulations to Wakefield on an historic vote. We had two options, and we made the right choice. This was a WIN for the whole community.
Kevin June 10, 2012 at 05:39 PM
The need for appropriate learning spaces in Wakefield really is the essence of what is going on here... I applaud Galvinize for putting the information out there. The time was right. However, we cannot continue to function this way. Are we going to override for a new Greenwood, Walton or High School at the right before they are condemned? The bigger problem is the lack of care that Wakefield gives to its assets. Look at the systems problems at the Dolbeare - at just about 13 years old. We need to cultivate and implore a sense of pride in our town that continually invests in its assets when appropriate. A new Galvin won't solve this problem, but hopefully it is a catalyst for change.
David Tipton June 10, 2012 at 07:30 PM
I was not involved in the local politics re. this...and I trust that we will unify and move forward as one of the best towns on the North Shore. My opinion on whether it was a wise move or not is academic at this point. Lets use this space to focus to move forward instead of being a microcosm of national politics where the focus is on polarities and what is wrong. Instead, lets celebrate that we made a decision (imperfect, yes, but we made a decision) and now need to roll our shirts sleeves up and make it work -- if not for your or my benefit, then for the kids that will be spending several formal years within those walls.
Laurie Hunt June 10, 2012 at 09:33 PM
The figure of $74 includes a cushion for overruns, this was discussed at the many forums that were held. The temporary tax has to end, by law, as this was a debt exclusion not an override.
bill June 10, 2012 at 09:50 PM
OMG!! How can a middle school over shadow a high school? I know let's build a new high school! It will only add another couple hundred $ to the average home owners tax bill !!
Jason D June 11, 2012 at 08:28 AM
I understand the need for a new middle school however in my experience $400/square foot construction cost for a project of this type seems a bit excessive.
Don June 11, 2012 at 11:15 AM
Goldplating.
Clare Zeimetz June 11, 2012 at 12:18 PM
So happy with the outcome of the vote. Yet one more reason to be proud and happy to live in Wakefield.
Diane Lee June 11, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Happy it passed.
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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