State to Fund 54% of School Repairs

by | Jan 16, 2015

By John Anderson

Three major capital projects at two Auburn Schools will receive state funding through the Massachusetts School Building Authority through their Accelerated Repair Program. The grants total $1,533,180 and equal 54.16% of the estimated project costs.

The current middle school, which will become an elementary school next fall, needs a new roof and a new boiler. Bryn Mawr Elementary School requires a new roof as well. Both roofs were determined to be well beyond their expected life. A fourth project, updating the HVAC system at Pakachoag, was denied in the early stages.

bryn mawr
Bryn Mawr SchoolPhoto courtesy The Auburn Buzz via

The School Committee authorized this process at their January 26th meeting last year, and the Board of Selectmen also gave it their nod. Now, town meeting members must approve the total expenditure at the Special Town Meeting in March.

The town’s share of the project will not add any costs to the taxpayers since capital improvement funds previously allocated have or will be transferred to cover the cost.

With eyes on a new middle school, capital improvements have been primarily limited to emergency repairs for a number of years. This is especially true for Julia Bancroft and Mary D. Stone which will close when the new middle school is opened.

Superintendent Maryellen Brunelle said:

“The Auburn Public School District is thrilled to receive the MSBA’s support through their Accelerated Repair program. As a result of MSBA’s participation, it has the potential to save the taxpayers of Auburn more than $1.5 million which is tremendous.

I offer my most sincere thanks to Auburn’s Town Meeting Members for their previous approval of the transfer of CIP funds, with a few additional transfers to be requested at the March Special Town Meeting, as that will mean that no new monies will need to be borrowed.

The next step in this process is for the Town Meeting Members to consider and hopefully approve the full appropriation at the March Special Town Meeting as we have 90 day within which to seek that approval, with April 14, 2015 being the deadline. Assuming we receive their support, work on these projects will begin immediately, with the bulk of it taking place this summer, ready for the students to arrive in the fall.

Special thanks go to Mr. Fahey, Director of Facilities, and both Mr. Gray and Mr. Barber, former and current Business Managers, for their efforts in helping to bring these funds to the Town of Auburn.”

Since these projects needed to occur under any circumstances, the MSBA funds are most welcomed. This should get unanimous town meeting approval.