Showing posts with label Massachusetts School Building Authority. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Massachusetts School Building Authority. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Snow day conversation with Franklin Public Schools Superintendent Sara Ahern - 01/07/22 (audio)

FM #694 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 694 in the series. 

This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Franklin Public Schools Superintendent Sara Ahern. We had our conversation via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.

We talk about 

  • School mid-year status, on first snow day

  • Her personal status

  • Much to do

    • Working with new School Committee

    • FY 2022 Budget adjustment

    • Administrative searches underway

    • Capital budget being readied

    • FY 2023 budget in preparation

    • Davis Thayer surplus decision remains along with the master facility plan work ahead of them

The recording runs about 21 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Sara

Audio file ->


We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( 

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.


How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.


For additional information, please visit or

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"


FPS Superintendent Sara Ahern updates the School Committee at a meeting in Oct 2021
FPS Superintendent Sara Ahern updates the School Committee at a meeting in Oct 2021

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Funding for new Franklin High School approved by state

With the funding approved by the state, the next step will occur at the Town Council meeting on Feb 1. The Town Council will hear this news officially from the School Building Committee and then discuss the amount and date for the debt exclusion vote.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

via The Milford Daily News News RSS by GateHouse Media, Inc. on 1/25/12

Funding for a new Franklin High School got the go-ahead from the state today.

Things you can do from here:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mass. schools eye $250M in bonds to finance projects

You can click through to read the full story.

Sent to you by Steve Sherlock via Google Reader:

More than a dozen Bay State communities are preparing to issue nearly $250 million in debt in the months ahead to finance a slew of school building and renovation projects. The planned projects involve everything from the construction of new $128 million high school in Duxbury to a $1.3 million window-replacement program at the Atkinson Elementary School in Andover.

Six of the 25 project proposals involve the construction of new schools, according to the Massachusetts School Building Authority. The project and bond-financing pipelines were detailed during the MSBA's Sept...

Things you can do from here:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

"The state will cover 58 percent"

"It seems like an absolutely slam-dunk no-brainer," said Town Council Vice Chairman Stephen Whalen, of building a new high school instead of renovating the current structure. 
The town will make use of the state's model-school program, in which the building committee would pick one of four state-approved options for a school that's already been designed. Building a new school under the model-school program will cost the town roughly $40 million, only about $3 million to $4 million more than gutting and renovating the existing building. 
"The most telling endorsement we got was from the architect who's going to lose his job if we get accepted into the model-school program," said Chairman Scott Mason, who also serves on the building committee. "For him to stand up and say, basically, this is a no-brainer, says a lot."

Read more:

Monday, October 12, 2009

Letter from Ed Cafasso

Hello everyone,

As promised, I am writing to provide a progress report on the building renovation initiative for Franklin High School (FHS).

Last week, following approval by the Finance Committee, the Town Council voted unanimously to authorize a $1 million bond for the next phase of the FHS renovation. This funding allows Franklin to hire an Owners Project Manager (OPM) and an Architect to bring the project to the schematic design phase. Under the rules of Massachusetts School Building Authority (SBA), if the Town commits to financing the full cost of this phase, the SBA will refund an estimated 30 - 45%.

The Milford Daily News covered the issue when it came before the Finance Committee ( and Town Council ( The newspaper stories said the funding would go to “a study.”

That description is off the mark. The bonding authorized this week will result in actual schematic diagrams of the likely renovations, showing the components of the project and its scale. These diagrams will be prepared by a professional architect in close collaboration with an experienced project manager and with members of the Building Committee.

This phase of the project is NOT the same as the study completed in October 2006 by the firm Kaestle Boos, which looked at FHS at the request of the School Committee. It provided a general look of the building’s condition and a “blue sky” assessment of what might be done, ranging from minimal fixes to the construction of a completely new building. You can view the 2006 report at

The funding authorized this past week allows Franklin to move forward to hire the professional project manager and architect  who will produce the formal schematic designs for renovation work. Every step occurs under the formal supervision of the SBA and the local Building Committee. The design options will be based on the specific renovation ideas that were part of the Town’s application for SBA funding. Those renovation ideas arose from a tour of the FHS building in December 2009 by professional SBA inspection team and subsequent discussions between members of the Building Committee and SBA officials.

The hiring of an Owner’s Project Manager is required by the SBA and by state law. The OPM should be in place by December or January and the Architect should be on board by March or April. Once schematic design is complete, and there is an agreement with all parties involved, including the SBA, a debt exclusion will be required to move toward construction.

Approximately 12 to 18 months from now, Franklin voters will have a very clear picture of the renovation project – the precise work involved, the cost and the timing – and will be asked to vote on whether the town should borrow the amount needed to pay for it over time. If voters approve the debt exclusion, a substantial portion of the total cost (a minimum of 31 percent) will be reimbursed by the state.

Keep in mind that the exact timing of every step in this process is controlled largely by the SBA, which holds tight supervision over all projects they are likely are to subsidize. Information on the general SBA process is available at:
You can learn more about the FHS project on this Tuesday night (Oct. 13) when Tom Mercer, chairman of the School Building Committee, discusses this phase of work the School Committee at a meeting that begins at 7 pm the Municipal Building. Middle school parents may wish to tune in or attend. Also please keep in mind that “Panther Pride” night, an informational open house for 8thgrade families, is scheduled to occur at FHS on the evening of Wednesday, October 21.

These e-mails are provided as a constituent service. I try to distribute at least one e-mail update each month during the school year, as issues warrant. As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. If you are receiving duplicate e-mails or if you no longer wish to receive these e-mails, please let me know and I will remove you from the distribution list. If you know of someone you would like to add to the list, please send along their e-mail address.

Thank you!

Ed Cafasso, Member
Franklin School Committee

Sunday, November 30, 2008

"This is really the kickoff with Franklin"

Town officials are forging ahead with plans to renovate Franklin's aging high school building, while realizing that the economy's downturn could affect their ability to pay for the project.

The town submitted a refreshed proposal to the Massachusetts School Building Authority this month, specifying problems with the 37-year-old building and providing additional details on enrollment projections, the educational goals of a potential renovation, and past examples of the town's commitment to building maintenance.

In addition, several Franklin officials, including Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting and Town Council chairman Chris Feeley, met with the building authority's executive director, Katherine Craven, to identify Franklin's most pressing needs. Craven called the encounter "very positive."

Read the full article in the Boston Sunday Globe West section here

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