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Sunday, August 27, 2017

How Much for the High School?

For John, BLUFWe need to ask the elected officials the hard questions.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

MSBA delays vote on LHS funding until site issue is resolved

From The [Lowell] Sun, by Reporter Todd Feathers (, on 23 August 2017.

And why does the site issue need to be resolved, given that the City Council voted to put the High School near Cawley Stadium?  Because this is the age of Trump and the motto is never give up.

Here is the lede plus two from the Todd Feathers story;

BOSTON - While assuring city officials that they remain fully behind Lowell building a new high school, the Massachusetts School Building Authority board of directors voted unanimously Wednesday to delay approval of the city's current plan due to the fierce disagreements over where the school should be built.

That argument - which had seemed to be resolved when the City Council voted 5-4 to build a five-story school at Cawley Stadium - will soon spill into the courts, after the School Committee decided last week to seek a judge's ruling on whether it has authority to approve or reject the new school's location.

The MSBA board members said they could not risk taxpayer dollars to fund a schematic design that might be thrown out if a judge rules that the School Committee, a majority of which favors keeping the high school downtown, must approve the site.

If I had money to bet I would be putting it on no money from our Commonwealth and thus no new High School and no major renovation.

I did go to the web page of Lowell High School Project, looking for cost numbers, and found it to be disorganized and lacking in information.  They need a new web master. 

Then I went to The [Lowell] Sun for some numbers and found an article by Reporter Todd Feathers, published 3 June of this year—"Lowell High project to cost at least $336M".

  • Option 1:  (Renovation to the existing buildings, with no new construction) Costing $344 million ($130 million to the City).
  • Option 2:  (Renovation and addition to the downtown school on the current footprint) Costing $344 million ($135 million to the City).
  • Option 3:  (Renovation and addition to the current school that includes the acquisition of an adjacent office building) Costing $353 million ($143 million to the City).
  • Option 4:  (New four story high school at Cawley Stadium) Costing $339 million ($152 million to the City).
  • Option 5:  (New five story high school at Cawley Stadium) Costing $336 million ($149 million to the City).
So, for those of you who are incredulous that Option 1 is $344 million, yes those are US Dollars.

The question is, what is a fix up going to cost us?  I am think it has to be less than half that amount and maybe less.  Where are the numbers for that level of effort?  Where is Gerry Nutter when you need him?

Regards  —  Cliff

  I am available and inespensive.

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