Framingham School Committee Approves $4.6 Million Capital Infrastructure Plan; Including $1.1 Million For Air Conditioning At Framingham High

FRAMINGHAM – Tonight, October 3, the City of Framingham’s School Committee voted to approve the school district’s annual request of priority capital projects.

These projects and the district’s capital planning process save money in the long-term by prioritizing preventative maintenance and health safety projects, utilizing existing infrastructure, and fully using warranties and cost effective contract vehicles in partnership with municipal departments.

“The School Committee’s request seeks to fund what is sorely needed so students, staff, and our community can benefit,” said Adam Freudberg, Chair of the Framingham School Committee and District 4 Member.  “Security improvements, environmentally friendly upgrades, ADA compliance, exterior upgrades, and fixing a major health safety and educational delivery gap at Framingham High School by adding air conditioning were prioritized by the committee.  With this plan, we have teamed up with the Superintendent and Buildings and Grounds to create an opportunity to make limited strategic investments to support our current students and educators, as well as the generations to come.”

“I’m thrilled to be leading a school district that has the support of a School Committee that is committed to improving access and opportunities for students,” said Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Robert A. Tremblay.  “These bold moves help to strengthen the Framingham Public Schools by rightly and appropriately investing in infrastructure which will support a welcoming and accepting school environment for students and staff, and addresses safety and security, ADA, Air Conditioning at FHS, and other critical needs across the district.”

This plan was passed by a vote of the School Committee on October 3, and was previously passed by the School Committee’s Facilities Subcommittee on September 24.

The School Committee finalized this request of $4,610,277 after reducing a total Buildings and Grounds initial request of $7,887,194.

The most expensive project is $1.178 million for air condition at Framingham High.

The next step for the School Committee’s request (as outlined in the City of Framingham’s Charter) is for the proposal to be reviewed by the Mayor and then submitted to the City Council for their review and approval before funding is released in Fiscal Year 2020

The following projects were carefully selected as part of the Framingham Public Schools (FPS) multi-year capital planning process.

 

Funded projects proposed and supported by FPS and School Committee in order of priority are:

 

  1. Security Enhancements at multiple schools including security cameras and electronic door access systems – $200,000

    • This request will further support and enhance the already robust security systems and measures at all schools.

  2. Asbestos Abatement and Replacement at Potter Road Elementary School – $492,000

    • This project is part of the district’s proactive approach to follow the Department of Environmental Protection’s requirements for all schools and address areas that show signs of wear.  The Potter Road Elementary School is one of several older schools that contain asbestos that FPS has identified as needing attention. There is no imminent danger, so this project will remove asbestos before it becomes dangerous.

  3. ADA projects at multiple schools to support projects and compliance with curbs, sidewalks, handicap ramps/lifts, bathrooms, doors, and signage – $300,000

    • These funds would support a phased repair and upgrade plan to repair or replace the noted deficiencies at Barbieri, Brophy, Dunning, McCarthy, Potter Road, Stapleton, and Wilson Elementary Schools, as well as at Walsh Middle School.

  4. Air Conditioning at Framingham High School – $1,178,277

    • The project would add cooling to the existing Framingham High School HVAC systems.  In the warmer months temperatures in some areas of Framingham High School can reach unhealthy levels in excess of ninety degrees.  Renovated buildings such as the High School utilize building materials designed to be energy efficient and do not allow buildings that are not air conditioned to ventilate.  To minimize impacts FPS has added fans and increased run times and air exchange time as much as possible. This does decrease temperature by three to five degrees, however once the building heats up it takes a long time for the temperature to drop back to healthy levels.  Adding air conditioning will take advantage of the HVAC and electrical infrastructure already paid for and in place, while making the working and learning environments comfortable and safer for our community.

  5. Exterior Envelope Improvements to roofs, walls, windows, and doorways at multiple schools – $825,000

    • The district’s five year capital plan includes estimates for the exterior envelopes of all buildings.  This year’s plan funds the top projects identified as priorities where urgent work is needed to repair or replace exterior walls, windows and sealant systems and associated components.  FY20 projects will fix these challenges at Barbieri, Dunning, Hemenway, and Wilson Elementary Schools, and Cameron and Walsh Middle Schools.

  6. Furniture to support the new 5th grade class at King Elementary School, replace old furniture, and purchase new furniture for parts of all schools – $300,000

    • The majority of the district’s schools have the same furniture that was purchased during their construction in the sixties.  Modern furniture will better accommodate the use of technology, instructional techniques, and curriculum delivery. These funds will also support the addition of a new 5th grade at King Elementary School, as an additional grade level is added each year until the school reaches capacity as a K-5 school in 2019-20.

  7. Elevator Upgrades at multiple schools to support safety and effectiveness – $110,000

    • Funds would perform service on multiple elevators in the district that are in need of upgrades/replacement parts or complete elevator replacement at Barbieri and Wilson Elementary Schools, Walsh Middle School, the Thayer Campus, and Framingham High School.

  8. HVAC and Main Sprinkler System projects at the Farley Building to support the relocation of the FPS Building and Grounds Department and tenants such as MassBay Community College – $390,000

    • The Farley Building will house the Buildings and Grounds Department, which includes the Buildings and Grounds office and maintenance shop as well as vehicle and equipment storage.  The proposed work to support this department (as well as other building tenants) will include installing a new HVAC unit, a fire sprinkler system, and ancillary work required by recent building and fire code revisions.

  9. Paving and Stormwater Drainage Repairs at Brophy Elementary School – $775,000

    • This project is the top priority on the district’s school parking and drainage capital needs list, and has been deferred for seven years in a row.  Upgrades and repairs at Brophy are necessary to the existing driveway, parking lots, and stormwater systems, and to ensure compliance with federal environmental and stormwater runoff requirements.

  10. A utility van for the FPS Building and Grounds Department – $40,000

    • The Buildings and Grounds Department is requesting the purchase of a new van to replace their current van used daily by the HVAC Technician.  The current van is a 2004 Chevrolet Cargo van, with 56K miles on it. This van has body rot and the bumpers are failing. The van is driven on a daily basis and it is over 13 years old.  The current van would be put out to bid as surplus property.

Total: $4,610,277

If approved, by the Mayor and the 11-member Framingham City Council, these capital projects will support the 9000-plus students, 1800-plus employees, and members of the community who utilize schools on evenings and weekends at 15 sites across the City of Framingham.

Later this school year the district will be releasing a 5-year capital plan which will indicate the multiple other infrastructure needs required over the coming years.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

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

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