By Carol Britton Meyer
The proposal to renovate/build a new Foster School is moving through the Massachusetts School Building Authority process, with the hopes that the MSBA will fund a significant portion of either option.
School Building Committee Chair Ray Estes told the School Committee recently that "the feasibility work is underway to determine what can be done [with the property]." The presence of wetlands and traffic are two considerations.
Eight potential design configurations were looked at by building committee with consideration of the advantages, disadvantages, and challenges posed by each. These will be narrowed down to four potential site layouts by the end of December, and then a preferred design will be selected to move into the schematic design phase in January.
Contingent on MSBA approval of the proposal, a warrant article will be drafted for the Spring 2022 Town Meeting -- or a fall 2022 Special Town Meeting -- asking voter approval of construction funding, a figure that will be announced at a later date.
If all goes as planned, construction could begin in the Spring of 2023, followed by the opening of the new building in 2024.
Estes emphasized that opportunities such as this one "don't come along often."