SHS Building Questions & Answers

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If you have any questions or comments regarding the Stoughton High School Building project, please click this link and we will get back to you with an email response soon. The answers are also be shared below.

Wednesday May 10, 2017

Q: Anyone know what will happen to the skate park?

A: Skate Park equipment is being removed to the DPW yard until a relocation site been determined.

Wednesday May 10, 2017

Q: I own a local pipe & welding company. We provide certified pipe welding for gas and HVAC. How do I find out who has been awarded the contracts for the plumbing and the HVAC on the new school project?

A: The bids for mechanical will be received on June 26, 2017 at the Town Hall at 2pm. The awarded contract will be shown on the following site http://www.stoughton.org/procurement-department

Monday May 1, 2017

Q: My question involves parking. From prior meetings I understand that as of the start of the project the parking along Adams Street will be eliminated and then as of around April 2018 the middle school parking lot (on Cushing St. that is next to the skate park and football field) will be blocked off. What is the plan for the cars that park in these two parking areas?

A: The assign parking along Adams Street will be eliminated during construction upon completion the parking will all be inboard of the school property and no longer on Adams Street. During construction the school will limit the student parking (method has not been determined yet) for those spots. The middle school lot will not be closed off during the school year. The plan is to work on the lot during the summer of 2018 and be available for use when school opens in the fall.

Thursday January 12, 2017

Q: My company would love to quote a compressed air system for the new school.

A: We are in the beginning of qualifying our filed sub trade bidders. Once they are qualified we will be posting the trade firms who will bid the project. Those bidders will be posted on the Massachusetts Central Register. I believe we will have the qualification process completed by the end of February.

Tuesday November 8, 2016

Q: What are the specifications regarding the building automation/ energy management system for the facility? Are you trying to achieve a specific level of LEED certification? Are you incorporating rainwater collection, gray water system, etc.

A: We are still developing as of November 8, 2016. The Stoughton Project is planning to achieve LEED Silver on this project. We are incorporating the following items through the building management system.

 1.  Rainwater Management
 2.  Indoor Water Use Reduction
 3.  Outside Commissioning
 4.  Demand Response with Utility firms
 5.  Possible Renewable Energy Production
 6.  Innovation Credits are being researched

For more details please see the following information.

Drawings and specifications for the Stoughton Library renovation project and the new Stoughton High School project are now available at the Stoughton Public Library for public review.  These progress documents are part of the “Design/Development” phase of the design process which means they have sufficient detail to show the intent of the design.  Both projects are currently in the “Construction Document” phase where the plans and specifications are being finalized prior to going out for public bids.  These documents can only be reviewed in the library and are at the check-out desk.  These materials are also available at the Procurement Office in Town Hall but the library is a more comfortable place to study them.

Comments on the Stoughton Library renovation project will be accepted until December 15, 2016 and on the new Stoughton High School project until February 15, 2017.  Although all are welcome, both building committees are especially interested in review comments by Stoughton residents who are in the construction trades, are architects/engineers/contractors or public school educators.

Monday August 8, 2016

Q: Will we be utalizing solar energy panels on the roof of the new building?

A: Presently we are showing solar panels on the documents. There is a review going on both on feasibility of the building operation and pay back versus the number of panels. We will be making a decision going forward by the end of September. Please note that the building will be LEED certified.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Q: Shouldn't all of the high school building materials been figured out prior to voting on paying for it? How did we come up with a cost if these things haven't been determined yet? Was it s guesstimate? I'm curious for further detail on the process.

A: During the schematic design of the building the architect provided a specification of materials to be utilized throughout the new school. During this process, two independent estimating firms confirmed locations of the materials by verifying with the architect. Please note that there were two separate exercises on the estimating, not only by the architect, but also by all the engineers in the project. This exercise drilled down to clarify any assumptions.

Presently the architect is now fine tuning the colors and types of materials that the estimate covered. All estimates have a design contingency during this process. As we fine tune the documentation the contingency will drop. The project cost will continue to be maintained throughout the process till final construction documents. We will have another estimating exercise in October to verify costs and this time we will have a construction manager on board as well as a third check in the process.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Q: Are materials and design being incorporated into the design of the Auditorium & Gymnasium areas as well as the media center and classrooms to lessen the acoustic impact and allow for effective use of FMSystems

A: Yes the architect and their consultants are designing to take into account proper acoustic and hearing accommodations particularly in all gathering areas (Classrooms, Media center, etc..).

Thursday July 28, 2016

Q: Are there plans to remove the Dedicated to Citizenship Keystone from A building and incorporated it into the new high school? It would be a nice touch

A: We have in fact discussed and looking at possible location for both the Citizen relief and the (current) Stoughton High School relief as well. At this time we have not assigned the location but the team is making every effort to preserve and utilize in the future new school.

Thursday June 23, 2016

Q: Now that the high school is approved, what are the next steps? When will we secure the bond to pay our portion and most importantly to me, when will we start paying the higher tax to pay for it? Trying to plan my finances.

A: You will see the added tax for the new high school on your property tax bill in July 2017.

Tuesday June 14, 2016

Q: It doesn't look as if bleachers will be installed near the track or soccer fields. If this is in fact the case, it seems as if this is a missed opportunity to adequately host large divisional events. Not to mention, the fans of these sports. The additional cost should be immaterial relative to the total.

A: 
1. The design phase is not complete- we still have several months of design development to develop and resolve some of the projects details.
2. The design team worked with the administration and Athletic Director on the layout and  configuration of fields during the schematic design phase. The AD brought input from his coaches and PE staff.
3. The turf field is meant to be multi-purpose; soccer could be played there with bleachers.
4. Bleachers could be considered for the track. Also there will be a natural grass slope adjacent to the track (approx. 5' high) that could provide a seating area. We will be continuing to work on these issues in the next several months.

Friday June 10, 2016

Q: Do you know if they are using a design already in place elsewhere? In Norwood we have a beautiful new facility that went up about three years ago. It is identical to Milton High. We did it on time and under budget (I know right?). Just curious if Stoughton is going with a similar plan.

A: The Building Committee reviewed using the MSBA Model School program and determined that no available model would either fit the site or comply with the education plan. It should be noted that the MSBA no longer provides an incentive for the Model School program

Tuesday June 7, 2016

Q: I am disappointed in the town of Stoughton for not sending out mailings to EVERY resident on a quarterly basis since this project started. I get water updates twice a year; I get my trash and water bills twice a year, excise tax mailings and so on; so why not include this information in one of those mailings. I have lived in this town for over 50 years and I find this appalling. 

I recently mentioned this on Facebook and was sent a 1 page map/diagram of the proposition. If I did not know what was going on and I am electronically connected; how are others in the town supposed to know, understand and vote on this item if they are not electronically connected. They will be paying for this as well and most are on a limited income.

I recently saw 2 pages in the Pennysaver over the last 2 weeks; yet these meetings and votes have been going on for well over a year. I work late most weekdays so I am unable to attend these meetings. Why hasn't the town taken steps to be sure that EVERYONE knows what is going on and what they will be paying for (whether they like it or not) and for how long.

What happens when the budget gets overrun for dollars and time? What happens when lower income residents move here to "revitalize" the town because we have a new school what will that do to the housing market over the next 20 years while we are paying for this?

A: We appreciate your concern regarding communication. The school building committee has made every effort to be transparent and accessible during this process.  Regarding communication to each resident in Stoughton; we can say we have had multiple presentation throughout the town. We have had five community forums that were advertised. We have also met many community organization, all the Stoughton Schools and places of worships. In total we have presented at over forty venues. We also have been on multiple local cable access presentations and been reported in local papers. Additionally all school building committee meetings have been televised. You mentioned facebook, we also have a school building website that has been advertised at all our presentations and handouts.

Regarding the town of Stoughton sending out information directly to each resident there are regulation by the inspector general office on how this information gets decimated. Also the cost for this type of communication is not part of a feasibility study budget.

Lastly the real estate market is dependent on multiple factors. This being said the schools that have been built recently in surrounding area have shown a mark improvement in their value.

Tuesday June 7, 2016

Q: A few questions regarding the soccer field/track facility that we saw proposed.

1) Was wondering why no coaches from the soccer or track teams were given the opportunity to add input into the layout, design, needs of this area. We would think that going directly those that use it most would have been highly advantageous for all involved. 

2) With 10 of the 12 schools in Hocks (Sharon and SHS being the only two that have grass) and dozens more in the state having turf as the field of choice for soccer, why/how was it determined that we would go with grass? Turf would eliminate the need for major upkeep, rescheduling due to poor field conditions, etc...(Answer: please note that turf fields also need upkeep… example is that the field needs to be groomed after 90 hours of playing time; that the field needs to washed down and disinfected on a regular bases as part of the overall maintenance, etc..)

3) How/why was it determined that the soccer field would be built inside the track as opposed to being built on the same field as the football field when 10 of the 12 schools in Hocks and dozens more in the state use a turf/multi-purpose field for soccer/football/field hockey, lacrosse built inside the track...ie Mansfield, OA, Foxboro, Walpole, Burlington, Pembroke, Milford, Taunton, Whitman-Hanson, etc...just to name a few. 

4) Lastly, how/why was it determined that no bleachers would be incorporated in the soccer/track facility? Dozens of soccer/track facilities around the state and every school in Hocks (except SHS) offer bleachers to spectators for both sports...this is a HUGE, HUGE oversight. And with a brand new facility such as this, having bleachers would open up many opportunities in the future to host soccer tournaments, conference and divisional track meets, etc...hence, more money coming into the town...not providing bleachers shows that SHS doesn't put a lot of stock in those athletic programs. And families with prospective students thinking about moving to Stoughton could view this negatively.

One of the major criticisms we had heard from outside spectators and even from some Stoughton residents, when we hosted the Hock track championships two years ago was "how on earth can you hold a conference meet and have no bleachers for your spectators to view from?" As successful a meet as it was that day, couldn't have agreed more with those criticisms.

A: 

1. The design phase is not complete- we still have several months of design development to develop and resolve some of the projects details.

2. The design team worked with the administration and Athletic Director on the layout and  configuration of fields during the schematic design phase. The AD brought input from his coaches and PE staff.

3. The turf field is meant to be multi-purpose; soccer could be played there with bleachers.

4. Bleachers could be considered for the track. Also there will be a natural grass slope adjacent to the track (approx. 5' high) that could provide a seating area.

We will be continuing to work on the project design to fine tune and take into consideration all comments.

Monday June 6, 2016

Q: If the new high school is approved will the town be required to take out of district students ? What is the policy on out of district students?

A: Stoughton High School is a public MA high school and therefore open to all residents of Stoughton.  Stoughton programs, academic, music, athletic and extra-curricular, are open to all Stoughton High School students.  Additionally, participation in music, athletic and extra-curricular programs are available to home-schooled Stoughton students and Special Education Stoughton students who are educated outside of Stoughton High School. There is no policy that allows for non-residents to enroll in Stoughton High School nor for non-Stoughton High School students to participate in Stoughton High School programming. 

Monday June 6, 2016

Q: I understand you are handcuffed by the MSBA but can the auditorium at least be designed in a way that a balcony can be added after the fact, even years later? The existing school is designed so a balcony would not be possible but with a little design tweaks the new one could accommodate one. Is there a "statute of limitations" on how long we have to wait to do any work/additions/renovations after the 55 million dollar check clears?

A: As we understand at this time that once the MSBA audit is completed upon completion of the entire project the School belongs to the town. Audit is usually completed approximately one year out.

Monday June 6, 2016

Q: I am wondering, as a resident of Adams street, if the new project includes more ample parking for all of the events at the high school like graduations etc. People are so rude parking in front of our houses and blocking access to my front gate and even parking across my driveway! It would be nice to have enough parking to accommodate these events so it doesn't disrupt the residents who will be paying more taxes like everyone else.

A: The new high school site design incorporates additional parking (up to 400 plus spaces) and would bring all the parking on the grounds and off of Adams Street during the school day. I can’t speak to the special events situation but with the way the parking is situated the overflow should go into the middle school.

Sunday June 5, 2016

Q: The date of the vote was set by the selectmen and approved by the MSBA. It is typical in the MSBA program that larger debt exclusion votes have their own special elections. It should also be noted that we are including escalation at 4% per annum. Using that formula, waiting 5 more months would add over $150,000 to the cost of the project - much more than the premium for a special election. Additionally, waiting 5 months would mean the school wouldn't be ready for the Fall 2019 school opening. 

A: In terms of PR, besides social media and a webpage with info about the process for the past two and a half years, there have been dozens of meetings with different community and religious groups in town explaining the project (including the senior center a number of times), at least a half dozen shows on SMAC, fliers and information in the Pennysaver, as well as newspaper articles. We have been doing our best to reach as many Stoughton residents as possible.

Saturday June 4, 2016

Q: Maintenance for the new building? Will solar panels be used to bring the costs down? 
I assume, but don't know for a fact, that a "21st Century building" would use more electricity. I also assume that proponents of this project have these #’s.

A: The project has been designed to accommodate solar power in the future. The current plan does not include solar panels. It should be noted that future solar would likely provide less than 10% of the required power for the school. If the payback of the initial investment in those panels is sufficiently attractive, the Building Committee will consider utilizing available contingency funds within the budget to install them.

Saturday June 4, 2016

Q: Was the cost difference between building new administration offices in the new building vs. the cost of renovating existing space explored for example renovating space at the Jones School?

A: The New High School will not contain the administration offices. The total project budget includes an amount to house central administration either in a separate modular facility on the high school site or at an off site location. The committee intends to investigate several off site opportunities including the Jones School.

Saturday June 4, 2016

Q: If the school was attended to years ago when it was known that it wouldn't pass for accreditation how much would the project have cost then?

A: The process to replace the current high school commenced once the warning letter was issued by NEASC. The project has developed along the quickest timeline possible given the MSBA process.

Saturday June 4, 2016

Q: Will there be another opportunity for the public to tour the existing building and see it's condition prior to the election?  That may impact the vote quite a bit.

A: Since the vote is Tuesday, there are no more scheduled tours of the Bldg. However, you can watch this tour video.

Friday June 3, 2016

Q: Why is the vote not being held the same day as the Presidential election vote? Why is the town spending $10k for a single issue vote when it will be already spending money in November for voting?

A: The vote was set by the selectmen and approved by the MSBA. It is typical in the MSBA program that larger debt exclusion votes have their own special elections. It should also be noted that we are including escalation at 4% per annum. Using that formula, waiting 5 more months would add over $150,000 to the cost of the project - much more than the premium for a special election. Additionally, waiting 5 months would mean the school wouldn't be ready for the Fall 2019 school opening.

Friday June 3, 2016

Q: The ballot question is difficult to understand. Does "yes" mean OK for a new high school?

A: A yes vote is in favor of building a new school.

Monday May 30, 2016

Q: Do you know the status of the skate park?

A: The Skate Park will be removed and relocated to another area in town that has yet to be determined. We are working with the school district and public safety to determine the best fit for the park. 

Monday May 30, 2016

Q: What is the status on the auditorium, it needs to be bigger.

A: From the start of the process the school building committee has requested that the auditorium be the equivalent to the existing auditorium. The Massachusetts School Building Authority (who partners with the community) set guidelines for sizes of educational spaces including auditorium. The guideline states that the auditorium shall be no bigger than 2/3 the size of the student population of the school.

In November in the submission of the education plan a justification for the larger auditorium was submitted. The Massachusetts School Building Authority reviewed the request at their Board meeting of 2016. The Board were not in agreement at that time and would review at the March Board meeting. During this time a second design that included a balcony was prepared if the State Building Authority would agree to the accommodation.

At the next Board meeting it was determined that the Board would not entertain a larger auditorium.

At this time the school building committee continued the design at the approved size dictated by State Building guidelines. This high school designed matched the education program off all other programs and maintained the agreed budget for the project.

Thursday May 26, 2016

Q: What happens if the vote does not pass on June 7th?

A: If the ballot question does not receive a majority vote on June 7th, then the MSBA will require an immediate plan from the Town on how it intends to accomplish funding the project. Since the Town has already determined it cannot fund the project outside a debt exclusion, a NO vote will effectively end the project and Stoughton’s ability to access funds from the MSBA. In that event, the Town will be faced with yearly bills to patch and repair in a piecemeal fashion the most glaring maintenance and code issues with the building. A recent estimate has determined that in order to fix those issues, it would cost the Town $41 million in 2016 dollars. It is likely that over time, that number would increase significantly. The taxpayers would pay that bill with no assistance from the state.  Importantly, it should be noted that such an approach would not fix space issues in the school. For example, current science labs, which are 60% the size of MSBA standard science labs, would remain so. Also, the gymnasium, which is 66% the size of current MSBA standards, would remain so.

Wednesday May 25, 2015

Q: With the majority of the athletic fields being renovated, will the current gravel on the softball fields be replaced with clay fields? These fields are dangerous and Stoughton is the only school in the league with these types of fields. Baseball also already has clay fields.

A: The athletic fields involved in the Stoughton High School project are only the track/soccer fields, tennis courts, and Football fields. The baseball and softball fields are not part of this project.

Thursday May 19, 2016

Q: In order for this vote to pass is a 2/3 majority required to vote in the affirmative?

A: The new Stoughton High School will only require a simple majority. 

Tuesday May 16, 2016

Q: I am a strong supporter of the need for a new high school. However, I was recently informed by several individuals that I trust that the new high school will actually have many fewer classrooms than the current school, and that the town has been informed by the School Building Authority of the state that because of the planned number of classrooms the school will be undersized and obsolete the day it opens, and that there will be a need for an addition in the near future, and that the state is not likely to participate financially in the addition because of the fact that the new school should have taken into account the enrollment projections and the need for additional classrooms. Can you please provide information on the number of existing classrooms in the existing high school, and a comparison to the planned number in the new school, and any rationale for the limited number of classrooms, and also any correspondence with the SBA related to their opinion on the size of the school?

A: The current school has 83 classrooms.  The new school will have 80 and 3 new versatile learning spaces, so net same number of learning spaces. Note that within that count of existing classrooms- approximately 60% of the general classrooms are undersized (average 750 sf vs 825) and virtually all of the SPED spaces are smaller than the proposed. The labs will be bigger, 850 square feet currently versus the designed 1,440 square feet with adjoining 200 square foot prep area for better learning spaces.  The MSBA has a formula for determining enrollment in the future and we are building the biggest school they will allow, which has a contingency for 15% growth without having to build any more.  The current class size is about 24 and that will be the same.  The MSBA wants to build spaces that are used approximately 85% of the day, and that is what we have designed.  In the proposed new school, teachers will be able to use one of six teacher planning spaces during their off-periods, so that their classrooms can be utilized by others. This is both a more efficient and more collaborative use of space that was recommended in the Educational Plan.

The MSBA have never said the building would be obsolete the day it opens, they would not want to partner in such a project, and their formulas are time tested.

We would like to specifically address your concerns on future over-crowding. First, the number of learning spaces is driven by the design enrollment agreed to by the Town and the MSBA (as it is with all school projects). That number - 1,065 students – was determined by looking at a number of demographic factors; planned developments, future birth rates, etc. It is inherently a speculative number as it is looking into the future. Accordingly, it is prudent practice in all schools to account for future expansion if the enrollment increases beyond what can be accommodated within the school through other measures. Again, this is good practice followed by all new school projects in the state. The new Stoughton High School has been designed to accommodate a future addition if necessary. At this point, we see no timetable when that would be necessary.

The MSBA has never indicated that it would not participate in any future addition because the new school didn’t take into account future enrollment growth. To the contrary, the MSBA performs their own enrollment projection and the final design enrolment number was mutually agreed to by the MSBA and Stoughton. If Stoughton experiences unexpected growth in the future, it would be able to apply to the MSBA for reimbursement as any other district would. The MSBA has been and will continue to be a partner in each step of the process.

We include a link with more information for reference. 

http://www.stoughtonschools.org/community-relations/pages/high-school-building-project

Tuesday May 16, 2016

Q: Can you tell me if specific areas of SHS that have been "named" will be carried over to the reconstructed high school and fields, such as Ron Christianson Auditorium and Peter Looney Athletic Complex?

A: We have spoken with the high school administration to take into account all dedications, awards and memorials from existing high school to be transferred to the new high school on its opening in 2019.

Monday May 16, 2016

Q: Can you tell if the total project value includes the construction costs for the football field, soccer field, track, and tennis courts?

A: The project includes all fields (football, soccer, tennis, track and associated sports lines on both fields for other outdoor sports) within the budget. Additionally, the project includes all furnishing and equipment, which includes sports equipment as well.  

Friday May 13, 2016

Q: Where will med flight land during construction of the new school?

A: We will be coordinating with Stoughton Public Safety Departments regarding the MED Flight landing location during the construction activities. The project team have met on a preliminary viable location but that has not been confirmed at this time.

Prior to the start of construction the project team will meet with public safety to review other precaution regarding construction activities if the MED Flight location is on the existing site.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Q: Can you tell me if there is a current bid/rfp out for the construction of the Stoughton High School? I saw on May 8th, 2016 a bid appear on the States url for this project and now it is no longer listed on there? The title of the bid was - Construction of New Stoughton High School with the bid number of BD-16-1328-PO138-PO138-00000008346. Now the bid just errors. I was not sure if it was an issue with their system or if the bid was cancelled?

A: This was an error on the State Bid List. The bidding for this project if the debt exclusion is approved would not be till Spring of 2017. There will be a notice for qualification in the Central Register for Construction Managers at Risk at the end of this month.

Tuesday May 3, 2016

Q: Where can I find the list of reimbursable costs for the project versus the un-reimbursable costs as the initial percentage of reimbursement was stated to be about 56% versus what has been shown as about 43% on the $126 million cost. I was told it was published but for some strange reason I cannot find it and I would like to see what is actually covered.

A: We have the following information regarding eligible costs based on the criteria used by the MSBA on maximum grant

“Eligible Costs” are costs incurred on the project on which the MSBA will reimburse the Town. “Ineligible Costs” are the balance of the costs which are not subject to reimbursement by the MSBA. These are costs which the either the MSBA regulations do not allow for reimbursement (such as legal fees) or costs for items that the MSBA does not feel are closely enough linked to educational program. Examples of these are the artificial turf field, bleachers, track, front field irrigation and some elements of the exterior hardscape such as retaining walls, etc. MSBA sets a construction reimbursement $299 and cap on site work. In all instances, the Town feels these costs are necessary for the project and will result in long term benefit to the Town.

The town of Stoughton project costs are as follows:

Total Project as agreed by the town and MSBA $123,540,688.00
less Ineligible items** $37,400,717.00
Maximum Basis for Grant $86,139,971.00
Est. Max Reimbursement Grant @ 60.67%*** $52,252,507.00
Estimated Total Town Share $71,288,181.00

** Items deemed Ineligible for reimbursement by the MSBA include: Construction costs exceeding $299/sf, site costs exceeding 8% of building costs, Furnishing, Fixtures and Equipment exceeding the $2,400 per student cost, legal fees, moving costs, & cost associated with the Central Office.

*** percentage increase is due to LEED Silver specification for the building and the use of Construction Manager at Risk.

Tuesday May, 3, 2016

Q: Will TJ be continuing with the committee? He has always been a passionate voice for the project and my husband and I are concerned that the high school will suffer in his absence.

A: We are happy to state that TJ will be remaining on the committee going forward.

Monday April 18, 2016

Q: Where can I find the list of reimbursable costs for the project versus the un-reimbursable costs as the initial percentage of reimbursement was stated to be about 56% versus what has been shown as about 43% on the $126 million cost.

A: “Eligible Costs” are costs incurred on the project on which the MSBA will reimburse the Townand are directly related to the education program.

“Ineligible Costs” are the balance of the costs which are not subject to reimbursement by the MSBA. These are costs which the either the MSBA regulations do not allow for reimbursement (such as legal fees) or costs for items that the MSBA does not feel are closely enough linked to educational program. Examples of these are the artificial turf field, bleachers, track, front field irrigation and some elements of the exterior hardscape such as retaining walls, etc. In all instances, the Town feels these costs are necessary for the project and will result in long term benefit to the Town.

Currently, we have submitted the Project Funding Agreement Budget to the MSBA for their review and will be meeting with them on April 28, 2016 to finalize the MSBA grant. Further clarification will come after the April 28th meeting.

Friday April 15, 2016

Q: Is the cost of rebuilding the playing fields, infrastructure, and landscaping, and demolition of the old high school after the new construction is completed, and disposal of hazardous waste reflected in the town cost alone?

A: The costs for the playing fields, infrastructure, landscaping, abatement of hazardous material and demolition of the existing building are all included in the Total Project Costs. The MSBA reimburses, up to its maximum grant, all of those costs subject to some very important conditions. The turf field, bleachers, concession stand, and press box are not eligible for reimbursement. Other site and building costs (including abatement and demolition) are subject to a cap for reimbursement. The new Stoughton High School, similar to most if not all other schools in the MSBA program, exceed those cap limits. In summary, the MSBA will be participating in a portion of the costs for these items.

Tuesday March 30, 2016

Q: I'm very excited about Stoughton finally getting a new high school, the designs look beautiful. My only concern is the size of the auditorium, it should be much bigger than the one now...not smaller.

A: The committee is in agreement with the need for a larger auditorium versus the design. Under the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) there is a formula regarding the student population and auditorium size. We are required to design to that formula to continue the process going forward.

Please note that the Stoughton School Building Committee met with the MSBA Board regarding the need for the larger auditorium for Stoughton High School in January 2016. There was some support on the MSBA committee to allow Stoughton to have a larger auditorium. It was agreed to discuss in a future Board meeting. We believe the subject will be on agenda shortly with the MSBA.

In the mean time we have two designs ready to go; the original design that you have seen and design that would add a balcony which will capture additional seating.

We will keep community posted regarding the decision.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Q: I am not sure if you have completed the estimates for materials on the new school but I thought it would be a good idea to check out a company called school guard glass. It's unfortunate we have to think about these things but in light of the way things are going I figured it might be worth looking into

A: We are finalizing the specification of the schematic designs to pin down the cost before the end of March. We have been working with both Police and Fire department regarding the security of the new high school with emphasis on lock down situation. I will say that glass shield is beginning looked at additional protection. We are putting in place a series of security measures to impede easy access into the high school. Further information will come shortly and can be better defined in the upcoming months. I will say that security concerns will continue to develop as the project and plans get better defined.

January 26, 2016

Q: When is the next meeting about the planning / budget for the new high school?

 Is it open to the public? 


A: Presently we have meetings scheduled with the School Building Committee every second Thursday of the month at 5:30pm in the Town Hall 3rd floor. We are now in the midst of refining the preferred schematic design and will also be meeting every fourth Thursday of the month till the end of March.

Our schedule shows that we will have the preferred schematic estimates completed in late March. Our goal is to present the update at the end of March or beginning of April. We do post our agendas on the town web site along with the Social Media boards.

We welcome you and any other town members to meetings (all public meetings). We always have a public participation agenda item for any community input.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Q: It is great to see in the news that the school building committee has chosen an option to be submitted to the state. If it approved by the state, my understanding is that the town will then need to vote on it, in the spring. I read the preferred option will take approximately 35 months to building. What I have not read is what the anticipated opening date would be, if the town gave the approval in June. It would be great to get this information out as well.

A: As you may have heard we did receive unanimous support by the selectmen, school committee and building committee on a new Stoughton High School. If all follows the schedule properly the building will be ready to have students, faculty and staff occupy the fall of 2019.

November 22, 2015

Q: It is great to see in the news that the school building committee has chosen an option to be submitted to the state. If it approved by the state, my understanding is that the town will then need to vote on it, in the spring. I read the preferred option will take approximately 35 months to building. What I have not read is what the anticipated opening date would be, if the town gave the approval in June. It would be great to get this information out as well.

A: As you may have heard we did receive unanimous support by the selectmen, school committee and building committee on a new Stoughton High School. If all follows the schedule properly the building will be ready to have students, faculty and staff occupy the fall of 2019.

October 12, 2015

Q: Will we get a new skatepark? There are many of us that practically live there and love it and we would do anything to keep it or even get a new one if you tear it down.

A: The skate park is in discussion but the project has not yet decided on the best option. So at this time we do not know if we will keep the skate park in its current location or relocate on the school grounds.

As we get to our final option the location of the skate park will be made clear. Our feeling is that by January we will have the decision made.  

October 9, 2015

Q: Where is the money for the building project coming from?


If they decide to knock down the old high school and build a new one, where will the students go to school as the new school is being built?

What kind of student outreach have you done regarding this project?

A: As you are aware we are in the feasibility stage of this project. I will answer as best as I can at this time. When we get down to the preferred design options we will present to the community more concrete information.

Where is the money for the building project coming from?

This project is in partnership with the Massachusetts School Building Authority. The Authority will fund eligible cost over 50% of project cost. Communities receive full amount of the MSBA’s share during construction. No longer does community have to wait for full grant reimbursement over a number of years..   

The town of Stoughton will have to provide the remaining cost. The Stoughton voters will be presented with the final preferred option with all associated costs. A special town meeting tentatively scheduled for May 2016 will offer the town of Stoughton residence opportunity to vote a debt exclusion in a special election so that we can pay for it. Please note that we will continue to provide information through website and social media along with televised school building committee meetings as we drill down to the final option.

If they decide to knock down the old high school and build a new one, where will the students go to school as the new school is being built?

Depending on the type of construction type, a new school will be built on the existing property and students will remain in the current school until new school is ready. Students will then move into new school and demolish will occur after to existing school. In addition and renovation scenario students will be placed in modular classrooms. We will then isolate the areas being renovated and/or additions being built. This process will be phased in conjunction with school administrations. This process is longer in duration.

What kind of student outreach have you done regarding this project?

This past June the project team met with teachers, students, and parents regarding what would they like to keep, what is needed and what they see as the 21st century learning environment. Architect and Education consultant along with administration developed an education plan that will dovetail into the final design to incorporate the needs of the students and educators. There was also consideration for future flexibility.

October 7, 2015

Q: I think a roof top garden would be a great idea. The students could learn modern day farming and how to change with the times. It could be part of the science program.

A: Thank you for reaching out. Roof top gardens for high school project have been discussed and will be further reviewed when we get to our final concept. I will forward your recommendation to the design team.

October 3, 2015

Q: I just saw the youtube video posted about Tuesday's meeting and was curious about a few items: 


1. Were students involved in the evaluation and design of the new proposed schools? 


2. Are there any efforts to make this building once complete as energy efficient as possible? Does the project include plans to have the building use renewable resources where ever possible? Are there grants that we are eligible for if we do this? 


3. How has the team accommodated for flexibility of design to allow for the changing environment that our students are entering. I'm sure my needs as a student will be different from my 1 year old's as a high schooler.

4. I assume this plan includes designs to include updated and upgraded science labs. Do these plans also look at the needs of any other labs? Language labs, computer labs?

5. In the design for a build/reno, has the team included an evaluation on the cost of the inconvenience to the town and students in the event of a build/reno? I know our school is already too small, how would the students and their parents be able to co-exist with a renovation of the existing property? I imagine the traffic and safety implications of a build/reno are pretty high.


A: Let me best answers your questions as we stand today during our feasibility study for the new Stoughton High School.

1. Yes in June the project and in particular had several visioning sessions. Students along with educators had input in the design criteria in regards to  21st century learning. The designer is very sensitive to cross discipline learning along with project based learning. Classrooms will be grouped in a way so as to be collaborative.  


2. The new high school will be LEED certified at the minimum. Most new high school built today are at least LEED Silver certified. The project will capitalize on current renewable resources at every opportunity. Regarding energy it is early in the process and depends on timing but energy rebates are possible once the final design and engineering is done.

3.

4. We are required by the State of Massachusetts to have standard requirements for each of these types of laboratories. During the visioning session there was extensive input by students and educators what is needed and what will be required in the future (currently).

5. The Project Team is experience with phased renovation and are aware of the disruption of such a project. We have taken into consideration the cost of relocation of classrooms (modular); the scheduling of classes and student flow between classes. Understand the impact noise and dust and how we need to minimize this disruption. These and other impacts are being accounted for in the cost evaluation when the committee reviews the preferred final option.

If the project heads towards a add/reno solution the project will start to create a logistics plan. The project will possibly bring in the construction manager/general contractor in within the final design period to incorporate all necessary phasing precautions. The input of educators and school administrators will be very much involved in this process. We would also do similar exercise even with a new building as well.

The project has already studied and refining traffic studies both for the Pearl Street and Central Street traffic impact. Also we have looked at impact of the daily activities in and around the school especially considering that we have a campus that includes a Middle School and Elementary School.

We will be reaching out with more community programs in various locations in the future. I hope we can meet and speak in person in the future.

September 30, 2015

Q: I was wondering- on my own and because someone asked me at a SEPAC meeting- if the SHSBC has gotten input into the building design from parents of students with disabilities and other design experts. I know that the building will be made ADA compliant with elevators, door widths, etc. But many more design changes can be incorporated now and save the town money and make the environment better for all students to learn. Things like lighting- students with migraines, some ASD students, students with concussions- can be bothered by flourescent lighting. There are several students that have hearing challenges and /or auditory processing issues for whom acoustics are a big issue. there are types of building materials and building designs that can improve acoustics in a classroom and there are types of designs that make acoustics worse. These are only a few things that I have heard about and I hope that you really take these concerns into consi deration when designing the high school.

A: As you know we are in the very beginning of our feasibility studies. In June we met with sped teachers and parents of sped students participated in the visioning team. The director of sped participated in meeting with DRA our architect on that full day of 30 minute meetings. Additionally her input was incorporated directly into the Ed Program.

Your email brought some points that I need to verify.

This beginning said I am forwarding your email to our designer for further comment and will forward those comments back to you very shortly. 

Appreciate you sharing in the process.

September 30, 2015

Q: My kids are in the 2nd and 3rd grade at the South school. We have many friends with kids at the high school who tell us how bad the structure is there. Can you tell me when they would like to start construction on a new school. I hear so many conflicting opinions on whether or not Stoughton will be getting a new school. It is making us reconsider moving or sending our kids to private for High School. I would love for them to be able to attend that public school and would stay in Stoughton if we were going to have a new school. I coach high school volleyball and when I walk into other schools they amaze me with how nice they are and can't believe that our kids in town are going to school in that building. 


A: As you might be aware we are still in the process of reviewing options. Presently we have four addition renovations and four new construction options. State of Massachusetts requires us to look at multiple options. Part of the process is an evaluation of existing condition in the current high school to make the School Building Committee recommendation going forward for final preferred option. This survey is part of the criteria for evaluating the addition renovation option.  We will be evaluating all these options with other criteria in the next two months.

I am at this time unable to say the direction that the town and committee will be going. I can say that the decision will be made by the end of the year for submission to the Massachusetts State Building Authority. Once we have a preferred schematic we be announcing at the school building committee meeting and posting on our web site.

Please note that we had three community forums with many parents input and strong opinions for new structure.  

Your email will be shared with the committee as well…

Please keep in touch. We will shortly be presenting at other schools in Stoughton the final few options prior to the end of the year.

September 18, 2015

Q: Is the Replacement of The South Elementary School part of this project or is it separate.Also,what is the condition of the Middle School?

A: The feasibility study we are involved with is only looking at the Stoughton High facility. I have reached out to the town of Stoughton to see if there is any pending or long range plans for the Middle School and South School. As soon as I hear back I will forward that information.

August 13, 2015

Q: Looking forward to the results of the feasibility report and hoping that the plan will be to build new but I'm curious of the timeline involved once the decision is made as to when it will be completed. I have a student in the class of 2021 and wonder if they will get to experience it?

A: Although not completely firmed up our schedule looks to break ground sometime in the summer of 2016. Depending on the type of project the construction scheduled can run between 25 to 30 months.

August 13, 2015

Q: Is the high school project slated to be bid as 149 or 149a for general contractors? 

149a tends to provide better contractors with more realistic initial costs rather then GC'a that bid anticipating delays and change orders along the way.

A: No decision has been made at this time but I can say that we have included in our schedule the appropriate time to request 149a process and interviewing regarding construction management firms. Again the decision has not been finalized.

Thank you for your recommendation and will forward to entire school building committee.

August 13, 2015

Q: I have a disc of all the materials, media, Norwood used to help explain to the town why a new HS was needed. You are welcome to it.
I would suggest, at some point soon, running Saturday morning bus trips to visit new HSs at other towns, with coffee and donuts donated to help bring people out.

A: Thank you for reaching out. Many on the committee are very familiar with the Norwood High School project. Committee has toured some of the most recent school projects as well.  I will present your suggestion to the school building committee as part of our outreach to the community. Please note that we will be having a community forum sometime in September. We will be discussing where and when shortly. As soon as we have specific information we will post throughout the town.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the Stoughton High School Building project, please click this link and we will get back to you with an email response soon.

Go to the High School Building Project webpage.