By Carol Britton Meyer
If all goes as expected, a Special Town Meeting will be held Tuesday, Nov. 1, for voters to consider approval of full funding for the construction of a new public safety facility on Lincoln Street and for a new Foster School. Both buildings would be energy-efficient.
Town Meeting 2021 and 2022 approved $1.6 million each for the preparation of schematic and design documents for the public safety facility and the preparation of pre-construction bid documents respectively.
Town Meeting 2022 approved $3.1 in interim funding to pay costs associated with moving forward with the Foster School proposal.
The Foster School project cost is estimated at about $113.3 million, with an expected state reimbursement under the Massachusetts School Building Authority partial reimbursement program of between 36.87 to 40.52 percent, depending on various factors.
The construction cost for the public safety facility was last estimated at $38 million, a figure that will be adjusted for inflation and other considerations.
The expectation is for the new school to open in Sept. 2024. "This is an aggressive schedule, but we're committed to staying as close to this goal as possible," School Building Committee Vice-Chair Ray Estes said. "The kids and staff have been dealing with Foster's issues for many years, and they have waited long enough."