STONEHAM – The Stoneham School Building Committee recently met with state legislators for an update on efforts they’re making on Beacon Hill to ease the local cost burden for the Stoneham High School project.
State Sen. Jason Lewis shared that the legislature is working on potential solutions that would mitigate the impacts that supply chain pressures and inflationary cost escalations are having on Stoneham’s project and others like it throughout Massachusetts.
He also noted that additional efforts have been made by the local delegation, including $1.3 million dollars added to the recent economic development bill that passed both State House chambers, which would result in direct state aid to the Stoneham High School project if signed by the Governor.
Sen. Lewis also indicated he and State Rep. Michael Day are exploring other opportunities for funding that could mitigate the cost pressures — including federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
The Massachusetts School Building Authority has committed to reimbursing the town for $360 per square foot, though legislators’ efforts may result in an enhancement to that reimbursement that would further offset the town’s costs.
The SSBC has so far taken numerous steps to reduce the cost of the project without sacrificing educational programming or sustainability goals.
The SSBC has several important meetings scheduled ahead of a Jan. 11 Town Meeting, where additional funding is expected to be requested to complete the project. Meetings are scheduled on Nov. 14, Dec. 5 and 19, Jan. 3 and 9, as well as a community forum on Dec. 13 at Stoneham Middle School and online.
The Committee continues to meet on Mondays to advance the project and work on the next pricing phase. Information from all meetings, site pictures and more can be found at http://www.stoneham-ma.gov/hsbc. Meetings are generally held twice a month on Monday evenings beginning at 7 p.m. The School Building Committee meetings are open to all and the Committee welcomes your attendance and input. Details for attending meetings virtually can be found at https://www.stoneham-ma.gov/hsbc.
If you cannot attend the meeting in person, you can find online versions of the meeting live, on Stoneham TV government channels (Comcast 22, RCN 15 and Verizon 36). You can also view the meetings at any time on https://www.stonehamtv.org/ondemand.