MERSD Shares Facilities Needs Study


The Manchester Essex Regional School District and Superintendent Pam Beaudoin wish to share the results of a study into long-term options for Essex Memorial Elementary School.

Steve Habeeb, President of Habeeb & Associates, and Project Manager Tom MacLeod presented the study to the School Committee on Nov. 15.

Essex Memorial School serves about 220 students in Grades K-5.  The School opened in 1957, and was expanded in 1975.  The building faces numerous structural and maintenance issues due to its age.

“We’re looking at relatively old systems that are showing their age,” MacLeod said.  “They are approaching, if not past, the end of their lives.”

Habeeb and MacLeod offered two options for consideration:

Renovating the school at an estimated cost of $26 million.

Building a new school at an estimated cost of $32 million.

The study also identified about $9 million in ongoing capital investments that will be needed at Manchester-Essex Regional Junior-Senior High School in coming years.  The school opened in 2009, and will reach its expected half-life in 2034.

The School Committee may next consider filing a Statement of Interest with the Massachusetts School Building Authority.  A Statement of Interest is the first step in applying for building project funding assistance from the MSBA, which works with communities to support educationally appropriate, flexible, sustainable, and cost-effective public school facilities.

Should the MSBA invite Manchester Essex into the Eligibility Period, the District will have 270 days to complete a series of actions, including creating a School Building Committee, documenting financial and community readiness, and developing an agreement for a full feasibility study.

Local communities must follow the MSBA statute to qualify for future funding.

Superintendent Beaudoin estimated that should the District be accepted into the MSBA program in 2023, a new school could open in 2029.

The presentation to the School Committee may be viewed on the 1623 Studios website.

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