For immediate release
NORWOOD – The Town of Norwood is pleased to report that the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) voted during its March 2 meeting to support a new Coakley Middle School building.
The unanimous vote indicates that the MSBA intends to participate in the funding of the project, contributing a grant of up to approximately $46 million. At this time, the project is estimated to cost a total of about $150 million, resulting in a current expected town share of approximately $104 million.
Norwood residents will vote on the project’s associated Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion at Town Meeting on Monday, March 14, and again in a ballot vote on Monday, April 4.
Several local boards and committees have already voted unanimously to support the project, including the Finance Committee (Feb. 24, 2022), School Committee (Dec. 15, 2021), Board of Selectmen (Dec. 14, 2021) and Middle School Building Committee (Dec. 13, 2021).
“I would like to thank the Middle School Building Committee for their hard work and commitment throughout the process thus far to ensure the Town of Norwood would receive grant funding to support this essential project,” Norwood Public Schools Superintendent David Thomson said. “The support and endorsement from the MSBA is greatly appreciated and demonstrates the attention and diligence that has gone into the planning and design for the project.”
The approval of the Project Scope and Budget follows the submission of Schematic Design documents. The new building will be constructed behind the current Coakley building. The building will have a four-story academic core and house grades 5-8. Read more about the proposed design here.
A district’s Educational Plan – a document required for all MSBA-supported building projects – is considered throughout the design process to ensure a new building is responsive to the educational needs and activities of the district. Norwood’s Educational Plan, which can be found here, was lauded by the MSBA.
“Upon completion, this project will provide a new 21st century learning environment for students in Norwood,” said Deborah B. Goldberg, Chair of the MSBA Board of Directors and State Treasurer. “Our goal is to create the best space to deliver the District’s educational commitments and goals.”
As one of the next steps, the district and MSBA will enter into a Project Funding Agreement, which will detail the project’s scope and budget, along with the conditions under which the district will receive its MSBA grant. If approved through town votes, the project will advance the proposed school design and procure construction bids, and construction would begin in 2023.
About the Project:
In 2017, the Norwood Public Schools completed a district-wide facility study to review the elementary and middle schools. The Coakley Middle School was identified as the school with the most building deficiencies. The town submitted a Statement of Interest (SOI) to the MSBA in 2018 and was invited into the program.
The proposed new Coakley Middle School would open in 2025 for approximately 1,070 middle school students. Learn more about the project and subscribe to receive email updates at newcmsproject.org.