Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the East Longmeadow High School Project?
The East Longmeadow High School Project encompasses all aspects of the planning and construction of the High School, including the selection of the Owner's Project Manager (OPM), designer, and contractor, as well as oversight of the project.
The Town of East Longmeadow is participating in the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) process for the design and construction of a new High School. Acceptance to the MSBA program does not guarantee state funding. The MSBA approval process must be completed successfully for the state via the MSBA to provide significant financial assistance to the project.
In June 2021, the Town approved funds for the East Longmeadow High School Feasibility Study. The final product of the Feasibility Study will be a construction project proposal for which the Town must approve funding via a Town Vote.
- Who is on the East Longmeadow HS Building Committee, and when does it meet?
The School Building Committee represents school and town leadership, School Committee, Facilities Department, educators, architects, residents, industry professionals, parents, town meeting members, and more. The Building Committee meets monthly in the School Committee Conference room and via Zoom. The meetings are open to the public, and participation is encouraged. Click here to view the Building Committee calendar.
- Who is the MSBA, and what is their role in this project?
The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) is a funding partner for the East Longmeadow HS project and projects across the Commonwealth.
The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) is a quasi-independent government authority created to reform the process of funding capital improvement projects in the Commonwealth's public schools. The MSBA strives to work with local communities to develop affordable, sustainable, and energy-efficient schools across Massachusetts.
The Legislature created the MSBA in 2004 to replace the former school building assistance program administered by the Department of Education (now the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education).
The MSBA, which has a dedicated revenue stream of one penny of the state's 6.25-percent sales tax, is collaborating with municipalities to equitably invest in finding the right-sized, most fiscally responsible, and educationally appropriate solutions to create safe, sound, and sustainable learning environments.
- Why does East Longmeadow need a new or renovated High School building?
The MSBA offered East Longmeadow HS a grant opportunity for the following reasons:
- Most academic spaces are below MSBA guidelines.
- Technology and Special education areas are under current MSBA guidelines by 50+%. This fact makes it very challenging to meet students' needs.
- Undersized science labs are easily overcrowded, raising safety concerns.
- The library is inconveniently located and antiquated, prohibiting it from serving as a 21st-century learning environment.
- The electrical system is at capacity, disallowing for additional air conditioning and expansion of technology.
- The transformer is overheating due to excessive electric loads for the ELHS building. Electrical wiring and equipment failures lead to power outages and are very disruptive for classes.
- The current HVAC system was original to the building (1960). Mechanical issues are prevalent and often cause disruptions to the learning environment.
- The roof is 29 years old and out of warranty. The membrane is deteriorating and pulling away from the metal edging in some areas, resulting in leaks and causing classrooms to be temporarily relocated.
- Old asbestos tiling is becoming worn down, presenting a possible health hazard.
- Will the new school be renovated or rebuilt?
As part of the MSBA Feasibility Process, the School Building Committee and Project Team are required to explore each of the three options:
- renovation to code
- new construction
Through Module 3 of the Feasibility Process, the School Building Committee will narrow down the options based on findings and input from the community. The evaluations are based on cost, district needs, which option best supports the educational plan, and which option responds best to the community needs.
The MSBA does not decide on the final option that goes forward for a Town-wide vote. The School Building Committee will decide which final option to pursue.
A cost assessment will also be done to show the cost of doing nothing as a result of a failed vote for project funding.
- Has the East Longmeadow High School design finalized?
No. Current design renderings are preliminary conceptual diagrams that have not yet been developed to include the District's input. Design concepts will be presented at monthly School Building Committee meetings and Community Forums throughout the feasibility process.
- What is the project schedule?
- Is a pool included as part of the project?
Swimming pools do not qualify for state funds from MSBA. With direction from the School Building Committee, the Project Team will explore saving the existing pool or building a new pool, understanding that all costs associated with pool construction would need to be approved by the Town with no funding from the state.