Fuller Middle School Building Project Community Workshops Scheduled For November

FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham School Building Committee will be hosting two collaborative workshops with the community for the Fuller Middle School Building Project.

Parents, taxpayers and educational stakeholders can discuss the educational vision and design options for the revitalization of Fuller Middle School.

The first meeting would be an educational visioning and existing conditions meeting, said School Building Committee Chair Ed Gotgart.
The second meeting would focus on community construction alternatives, said Gotgart, who is the Executive Director of Business Operations for the Framingham Public Schools.

The collaborative workshops will be held on:

  • Monday, Nov. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fuller Middle School Library
  • Monday, Nov. 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fuller Middle Library

The Town of Framingham wants to construct a new middle school on the site of the current Fuller Middle School. The proposed new school would house 630 students. Voters would need to approve the construction costs via a ballot question, possibly as soon as November 2018.

The workshops are open to the public and the community is encouraged to attend to provide valuable feedback.

Last month, a contract was approved for $545,000 for design services with Jonathan Levi Associates of Cambridge.

n January 2016, the Massachusetts School Building Authority officially voted to begin the process to fund a feasibility study to renovate or replace Fuller Middle School.

In May 2016, the Authority, after rejecting Framingham’s application twice, gave the first major green light for the new Fuller Middle School project.

Fuller Middle School was originally constructed in 1958 as Framingham South High School.  The building became Fuller Middle School in the mid 1990s.

Since then there have been several improvements:

  • 1995 Roof Replacement
  • 2005 Converted heating system from oil to natural gas
  • 2005 Replaced boilers
  • 2007 Auditorium Improvements
  • 2009 Portion of north masonry wall replaced
  • 2010 ADA accessible ramp and railings at the main front entrance
  • 2013 Warranty roof repair performed
  • 2014 ADA ramp installed at rear of building

Even with those improvement, the school has several issues, and the district is facing an enrollment crunch.

Framingham Public Schools has seen incoming kindergarten classes of at 700 students or higher students for the last several years. With the student population growing, the public school district opened the former King Administration Building as an elementary school.

At one point the district was considering purchasing land from the Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Joseph on Bethany Road for a new school, but a deal could not be reached. Now, the district is focused on construction of a new school on the site of the current Fuller Middle School.

Earlier this year, the Framingham School Committee approved a “Feasibility Study Agreement.”

In February, the Massachusetts School Building Authority approved that agreement.

Framingham voters could be asked to approve the cost to construct a new middle school as early as November 2018.

A few years ago, the estimated cost for a new Fuller-Farley campus was $48 million. Gotgart told Source, a new school could cost in the $30 million range, if the town is able to salvage the existing auditorium, cafeteria, and gymnasium. If not, the cost could be anywhere between $40 and $50 million.

Framingham is eligible, if approved by the state, for up to 59 percent reimbursement of cost of the project.

If voters, approve a debt exclusion override vote to increase taxes in November 2018, to construct the new Fuller Middle School, Gotgart said construction could begin in spring 2019, with the school scheduled to open in summer 2020.

In June 2017, the Building Committee hired Symmes Maini & McKee Associates as the Owner’s Project Manager.

 

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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