Showing posts with label building committee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label building committee. Show all posts

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Town Council reorganizes, sort of

Reorg - sort of

The first order of business at the Town Council was to re-organize or elect their officers for the new year. The process is for opening nominations, closing nominations, and then voting on the nomination for each position. The Council successfully did that for the Vice Chair and Clerk but only opened and closed the nominations for Chair. They never officially voted for their Chair to remain Bob Vallee. There was no change in Vice Chair as Matt Kelly retained that position. Judith Pond Pfeffer retains the Clerk position.

This action was not intentional. It happened when the nominations for Chair closed with a vote, Padula nominated Pfeffer for Clerk which was not in the pre-determined order of events. They put that aside, took the nominations for Vice Chair and voted properly but 'forgot' to actually vote on the nomination of Vallee for Chair. It is likely the Council will need to re-do this at their December meeting. I don't believe it made a material difference to any of the proceedings. 

FHS - grass to turf field

The School Building Committee represented by Chairman Tom Mercer provided some key updates at the meeting. Among them:
  • the building has a punch listing of items being worked by the contractor in off school hours
  • the new Panther Way connector should open on Monday (Nov 24)
  • site and ball fields will be worked to a sub-grade condition before the deep frost hits
The Committee also sought a 'sense of the Council' on an item where they proposed changing one field from grass to turf. They can do so within the budget as previously outlined and still turn 'savings' back to the Town. The field which was targeted for a practice field as grass could be used year round as a competitive field if turf. 

New FHS layout, green section in front left position along Oak St is where the practice fields would be that are now going to be a turf field that will be regulation sized and available for games
New FHS layout, green section in front left position along Oak St is where the practice fields would be that are now going to be a turf field that will be regulation sized and available for games

The Committee has the authority to do so but due to the nature and discussion around the change wanted to bring it forward to gain some feedback before proceeding. 

Note: If they really wanted to gain some public input on this item, they could have brought it out more fully. Clearly they had enough time to do so as representatives from the High School sports, Recreation dept and many of the major youth leagues were present at the meeting.

Tax rate set

The tax classification hearing was the shortest and briefest in my time reporting on Town Council meetings. The Council respectfully has an opportunity for preparing for the hearing and apparently prepared very well as there were very few questions. The opportunity to walk through the process to share how the calculation is made was 'lost'.

Effectively, the rate increases 39 cents from $14.45 to $14.84. Of note, if the bond increases for the new high school had not been coming online, the tax rate would actually have decreased. One of the key bright spots among the wealth of data shared was that residential property values have increased. Commercial /Industrial valuations are still lagging behind.

My full set of notes from the meeting can be found here

In the News; commuter rail performance, change from grass to turf field

For those riding the Franklin commuter rail line:
Fifty new double decker coaches are in service, and 25 coaches are in the testing and inspection phase, according to the MBTA.

By early next year, all 75 new coaches, which were built by Hyundai Rotem, will be in service. State transportation officials have previously criticized Hyundai Rotem, accusing the company of falling behind schedule in delivering trains, which also required fixing once they reached Massachusetts.

Year-to-date, on-time performance on the commuter rail is at 89 percent, according to the presentation. July's on-time performance rate stood at 87 percent, August 90 percent, and September 92 percent, which dropped to 85 percent in October.

"There's a lot of room for improvement but at the same time . . . we are four months into this," MBTA general manager Beverly Scott told reporters.
Continue reading the full article in the Milford Daily News (subscription maybe required)

From the Town Council meeting Wednesday, part of the discussion was with the School Building Committee getting a 'sense of the Council" in regards to a slight change in the FHS plans for fields. I say 'slight' and that is an interpretation of what I heard.

The chairman of the committee, Tom Mercer, informed the town council of the decision on Wednesday and sought their approval to move ahead with the multi-use field in the form of an informal vote.

During a straw poll, each councilor voiced support of a turf field.

Mercer, himself a councilor, noted that the building committee did not require the council’s OK to build the field, but agreed “that it’s an important enough decision” to bring before the governing body.

Installation of the turf is to begin in the spring.
Continue reading the full article in the Milford Daily News (subscription maybe required)

The field had be slated for use as a practice field and due to the angle of planned grading could not be used as a 'game' field. By changing the field from grass to artificial turf, the field can be used year round, and will be regulation sized for competition.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

In the News: underage liquor sales, Senior Center buildout

The Milford Daily News reports on the recent sting operation being reviewed at the Town Council meeting on Wednesday.

On Sept. 26, six police officers and three teenagers performed checks of the 35 businesses in town licensed to sell liquor. During the stings, the teens used their real Massachusetts driver’s licenses. 
Prior to each check, police photograph the teens, record their blood-alcohol level, and search them. Any cash given to them is photocopied, in case a business owner or bartender denies making the sale. 
Unlike a drug sting, departments must inform all of the businesses in the area in advance that they received the grant and will be conducting the checks. 
The 99 Restaurant & Pub on West Central Street and the British Beer Company in the Franklin Village Shopping Center were the only two establishments that sold an alcoholic drink to one of the undercover teens.
Continue reading the article here (subscription maybe required)

Franklin's Senior Center
Franklin's Senior Center

The Milford Daily News also reports on the creation of a building committee to coordinate the buildout of the 2nd floor of the existing Senior Center. The building already has a second floor. It was left unfinished. There would need to be an elevator installed and then the finish work completed.

This has been talked of for some time. We have reported on the progress during the budget cycle as funds were set aside for this and for the expansion of the parking lot to accommodate the additional capacity provided.

The 3,000-square-foot unfinished space, used now for temporary storage, needs flooring and walls. The costliest aspect of the project will be installation of an elevator. 
In the months ahead, building committee members, including senior center director Karen Alves, must secure an architect and put the project out to bid. The town has saved approximately $700,000 for the work. And construction will not begin until next year. 
Alves has said the second floor should have space enough for at least two offices and a wide-open area for exercise programs. In the past, the senior center has hosted chair volleyball, Tai Chi and Zumba, among other exercise classes. 
Overall, space at the senior center is at a premium, since attendance has grown. Alves also expects the number of 65 and older residents to increase by more than 3,000 over the next seven years.
Continue reading the article here (subscription maybe required)

Photos from the grand opening of the facility in 2007 can be found here

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"All class gifts that could be saved, have been saved"

A thread of conversation around the demolition of the old high school has appeared again on Facebook discussing what could have been saved. Ed Cafasso, member of the School Building Committee replied to the thread as follows:
All class gifts that could be saved, have been saved. The obvious exception are things like wall murals. The Panther statue, the granite benches, the trophies and other awards, honors and gifts are all in storage. They will be put into the new school later this year, once students and faculty are settled in, and people have a chance to catch their breath. 
All of the schools in town, including Tri-County, had the opportunity to take used furniture and fixtures that were surplus. Technology items have been distributed to elementary and middle schools as appropriate. Other items that could not be reused by the Town were donated to charities. 
All of these actions have been discussed publicly by the School Committee, and recorded in their minutes and meeting videos. I hope these facts work to dispel continued rumors, but if you still have concerns, please feel free to contact members of the Franklin School Committee. 
Demolition will begin at 7 a.m., August 6, so no bricks are available yet as mementos. There will be a public open house at the new FHS on the weekend of September 20 and 21st. 
Your fellow FHS alumni work or volunteer on all of the Town and School boards that have been involved in the development and execution of these plans. Everyone involved respects the history of the school and the importance of class gifts. 
The priority at this moment is to make sure every aspect of the new FHS is ready for 1,700+ students, and for faculty, at the start of the school year. People are working hard, so your patience and support is appreciated. Thanks.
You can find the thread here on Facebook if you want to read the whole thread

front of new high school, taken on tour June 30th
front of new high school, taken on tour June 30th

The School Building Committee info on the Franklin page can be found here

Video of prior School Committee (and other town meetings) can be found here

Information on the School Committee can be found here

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

School Committee has work to do

The School Building Committee meeting effectively covered two topics; the first an  update on the high school project, the second the results of the "Feasibility Study" for Davis Thayer Elementary School.

The School Building Committee did not make a recommendation.They feel that would be in the realm of the School Committee to decide first what it wanted to do and bring their proposal through the budget process ultimately to the Town Council for their decision. Other than Tom Mercer, chair of the School Building Committee, no member of the Town Council appeared to hear the presentation.

To summarize the three options:
  • address accessibility issues - $4.6M
  • add to and renovate facility - $23M
  • build new school - $28M
Davis Thayer: water runoff 1
the water runoff across the playground is one of the many items that could be addressed

To address just the accessibility issues would leave the facility with some items that would still need to be addressed at some time. The sound bite quoted in my notes and in the MDN article referenced a "bad Band-Aid". To decide on the addition/renovation would be rather costly for the 350 students that the school serves. To build a new school is not that much different and more costly.

The School Committee will need to decide what to do first. How does the building fit in their overall  plans? Where would the students be placed if the building was removed from the system? These and other questions along this line of thought would be the School Committee's responsibility to answer first. Then they would bring their proposal through the budget process ultimately to the Town Council and depending upon the money and funding sources, the taxpayers would have their say.

The details of the high school project status can be found here

The details of the Davis Thayer topic can be found here

"all three options make little sense"

The School Building Committee meeting on Monday heard the presentation from Kaestle Boos Associates on the options for Davis Thayer. Their initial proposal was to add to and renovate the existing facility. They also looked at addressing just the changes needed to make the building compliant with the requirements for accessibility. An alternative would be to start a new building on the existing site (or elsewhere). It was estimated to cost $4.6M to bring to compliance. It was estimated to be $23M to add to and renovate or $28M to build a new school.
Davis Thayer was built in 1924 and underwent an extensive renovation during the 1970s. Milani described the building as "sound." 
"It has good bones," he said. 
However, most of the school’s bathrooms, corridors, stairs and doorways are not handicap-accessible, and inside, there are numerous mechanical and plumbing problems. 
Milani said that just bringing the school into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act would cost $4.6 million. The committee mostly agreed that it would not be worth the money. One member described the option as an "expensive Band-Aid."

Read more:

My notes from the meeting can be found here

Monday, August 19, 2013

Live reporting - Davis Thayer proposal

The Davis Thayer proposal, hard copy handed out to be added later

Joe Milani, Kaestle Boos Associates
"Feasibility Study for Davis Thayer"

built in 1924, renovated in 1973, minor other adjustments since then

original documents for 1924 construction not available, hence information is based upon what is observed
did an opinion of probable cost (OPC)
did a revision to address if accessibility was addressed but nothing else was

do not have to comply with all elements of the building when reconstruction, do need to fulfill compliance with the sections being addressed

if spending more than 30% of the assessed building value, then do need to bring up to code
staying below this level  intentionally

dangerous situation for walking along the driveway entrance from School St, especially during winter

building in good shape generally but there are spots where there is water penetration through the brick surface; would recommnend repointing all the brick work on the exterior

all the windows were replaced with two circular windows which are still wooden and should be replaced.

roofing in good shape, put on in 2000
stainless steel put over the copper copings along the roof edge, not soldered properly, should be replaced
some downspouts missing from the portable, for any long term renovation, should replace the roof

doors not wide enough to meet compliance, 36" required

interior finishes are pretty good, lots of school work on the walls
suspended acoustical tiles were added in the 1973 renovation, can't see the ceiling clearly

there are asbestos tiles under some of the carpets, would need to be removed

gym floor is is good shape, has signs of water damage, 'Dutchman' repairs evident
recommend putting in synthetic floor

interior stairways; 2 front, 2 back of building
some ramps added to some of the entrances, not all hence not accessible
inside of stairways need additional handrails, stairwells wide enough, hand holds not sufficient

toilet rooms all have accessibility problems
will lose fixtures with renovation but do have enough space to provide sufficient fixtures for accessibility

max population planned for at 350, currently about 335 students

by and large equipment could be reused in renovation, spacing is an issue, need to separate incoming waste and outgoing good foods for safety reasons

water coolers in corridors not sufficient, should provide two levels, there exist only one

no handicap signage available, major crux of issue is elevator brings someone to first floor but other floors within building are not accessible

the building is sound it has sturdy walls

recommend replacement of PA and telephone system

used MSBA recommendation to utilize the space within the building
57200 required
45000 current
renovation and addition would be only option to meet requirements

put the two kindergartens in the 'old' cafeteria
use the first floor expansion to put in a new cafeteria and kitchen area with access from Union
no addition to second floor
elevator and stairwell would go to the basement to access the gym
elevator rises to second and third floor
filled in the media center to provide two more classrooms on the third floor

add parking spaces and a sidewalk from the School St entrance
allows catch basis, rain garden to catch the run off and prevent the current runoff washing out the playground wood chips to the street

$23M for renovation and addition on site; vs. cost of new building on site would be $28M

supplemental study for accessibility
bathroom renovations and addition of elevator
multiple adjustments on each floor

just doing the accessibility = $4.6M

OPC projected a 2.5 year build-out with some inflation

School Committee and Town Council were invited to participate in this review
Other than Tom, no Town Councilor participated

School Committee would need to absorb this info and bring it to the joint budget subcommittee

if this were to go with the new school option, would have to get in line (after the high school)

one of the things that present a problem is that the enrollments are fluctuating, increase since Jul 1, likely to the increase in expectations for the new high school

Planning is meant to increase the attractiveness of the Town

is this site a viable site at all?
there is land but there is a challenge with the existing available land
current space is just under 4 acres, MSBA would req about 10-15 depending upon the size of the school
site big enough for 3-400 but not for 6-800

it is a not starter due to the cost/pupil for renovations vs. new school for this size.

$4M would be a bad band-aid
what to do with the building is not this committee's charge. what to do to construct or renovation may be this committee's charge

This was an informational meeting on the Davis Thayer portion

Live reporting - School Building Committee Meeting - Aug 19, 2013

Present: Tom Mercer, Chris Feeley, Jeff Nutting, Mike LeBlanc, Mike D'Angelo, Maureen Sabolinski, Sally Winslow, Paula Mullen, Susan Rohrbach, Ed Cafasso, Peter Light, Sean Fennell, Cindy Douglas, Corinne Minkle, John Jewel (arrived about 7:00 PM), Bob Gilchrist, Joe Milani,

Meeting opens at 6:35 PM

Motion to approve minutes of July meeting, seconded, approved, passed - unanimous

Motion to approve a series of bills, each seconded, approved, passed - unanimous

Bob Gilchrist, from Agostini, Bacon

walked the group through of three pages of pictures (to be added) showing progress in construction

substantial completion scheduled for July 25, 2014

finish coat of paving will be done next summer so all will be new and fresh
striping this week, signs this week, everything on track for completion on Friday

Brian, FF and E process (furnishing, fixtures and equipment) (if building was turned upside down and shaken, whatever would fall out except for the computers (that is technology).

process started several months ago, approach in two tacks, one with furniture; small working group with furniture; second group on needs for equipment

field trip to Robert Lord showroom for furniture, to see a breath of the possibilities, talking the details of the various vendors and manufacture of the furniture; developed direction, prepared list for each room to determine the quantities required

what is equipment, what is reimbursable from MSBA
received listings from the groups last week, preparing the combination of the lists to see what it would come out at for the budget

more detailed review of the listing planned, planning for putting the FF and E out to bid for Dec/Jan time frame with a July delivery and installation

expecting bids to come in within 2-5% below budget more conservative approach than previous projects

Nutting - we still need to figure out how the studio will be paid for by the cable TV group, or what other option would be needed.

used to be approx $6500/room for FF and E, now running about $8K
varies based upon type of classroom setup

study done by architect showed $1600/per study cost; MSBA reimburses $1200, that is okay for elementary schools but not for the high schools where labs increase the cost

technology is separate from FF and E

Mercer - should have a better idea of the real numbers for FF and E in the next 30-60 days
Sabolinski - Peter Light and others at in with the teachers to take a conservative approach in terms of the needs for FF&E
Light - inventory of existing equipment was starting point, would it last 5 years? yes, or no. If no, then on the listing for replacement. Compiled this at the building level. What was submitted was what the teachers needed with review and aligned with the curriculum. Drove to rationale as required.
Sabolinski - I feel comfortable with the process
Light - some of the teachers spent quite a bit of time and due diligence on this planning process. All of the big ticket areas, visited multiple model schools to discuss the details with those now in the schools

What remains in the building is open for Franklin to keep, what we don't keep can be taken by the contractor as part of the demolition

if there is stuff in good shape, can move it to the new building and deploy it in a non-public space where it can be used but not really observed on a daily basis in a public space; as in the library

Plan for listing of FF and E and budget by the meeting in October, 'no later than' is the plan per Mercer
Desire to get the listing a week before the meeting

all the other model schools were using $1800/student as their target despite the MSBA model target at $1200

Fennell - the high schools are coming in over the $1200 that the MSBA has and I understand the logic and numbers presented.

Change order #3
additional electrical  discovered as required
credit for supports not needed
electrical outlets to be added at front of stage
underground manhole to accommodate some wire runs
door hardware
revising door widths, should have been 4' were at 3 something
increased seating capacity in language lab (state standard is 30, added 5 as classes generally run lager)
lecture hall seating change to adjust the riser height

motion made to approve, seconded, passed unanimously

two parking lots built this summer have light poles (actually will), will be wired to new building
need to run lighting to power them in the meantime, could be approx 25-30,000 for the additional wiring and conduit - wouldn't be more than 28K. light pole basis should be ready for end of Sep; it is a safety issue

motion to authorize Chair to approve up to $28K for lighting
seconded, passed unanimously

Nutting - can we add a column to show the MSBA approvals for the change orders as submitted

LeBlanc - when are we going to get the 'pending' items
Is there an opportunity cost to not put the top copy out now?
about 25-29K

Cafasso - question on the parking lots
Both paved lots will get turned over, 120 spaces were on old lot, will get over 300 spaces with what is turned over next week

Question on the grading between the old fields and the new building, and new building and the 'new fields' when the current school goes

switching to the Davis Thayer topic

Thursday, March 7, 2013

"Anytime we can save the taxpayers money, I would be in favor of it"

In the Milford Daily News recap of the Town Council meeting on Wednesday, they report on only one agenda item, the proposed refinancing of the high school building project.
Homeowners residing in a property assessed at $353,000 will see a $71 increase on their tax bills in fiscal year 2014 — up from $45 in the prior plan — and a $212 increase in fiscal 2015, up from $85. They will pay $212 again in fiscal 2016, down from $216, and the same amount every year after that until the town covers its debt. 
The preliminary payment method had residents paying an additional $260 in 2017. 
With the plan Nutting presented on Wednesday, taxpayers would over the life of the project pay a total of $5,440, rather than $6,612. 
"I’m very comfortable from where we’re sitting right now," said School Building Committee Chairman Tom Mercer, speaking remotely from China. "Although we have that ... spike, this is really a no brainer; it just saves everybody money."

Read more:

For the full report on the entire agenda of the Town Council meeting, you can visit this link

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Under budget and a gem!

The Milford Daily News article on the School Building Committee update of the new Franklin High School is here

New Franklin High will be a gem, architect says

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Live reporting - Question and Answer period

Note: This reporting continues from the presentation portion of the meeting found

clarification on parking and driving patterns
can only go around to the left from Panther Way (no longer right toward where the tennis courts were)

grass circle in the front of the school has been transferred to parking to gain some space temporarily
Nutting provided kudos to the DPW for their work on the parking adjustments

substantially complete?
punch list items, cosmetic items, or something on the site that couldn't get completed

Typical construction work hours 7:00 to 3:30, some come in at 6:00 and leave early
sent out about 500 letters to the abutters
construction gates should be closed and locked, if not, please alert us
will keep an eye during the summer months to prevent dust from leaving the site

if there is any activity after hours, please let them know

will there be some work on the weekends?
most Saturday's likely but not Sunday's
should stick to the 7:00 AM start for Saturday

will be some work to raise and lower the back fields

will there be permanent fencing around the fields?

two of the fields will be light, both for the varsity fields

Will Oak St be repaved after the construction?
Outside this scope but likely could be done

sidewalks on both sides?
No, outside this project. Yes, for Panther Way on both sides
crossing guards will be in place during and after

structural steel done, mason work underway and likely to have roof up and done before the winter
spend the winter of 2013-14 doing the interior

if this is the worst phase of the parking, we are dealing with it quite well

If coming in Panther Way, police and fire dept will have access through the gates for safety reasons

Update - FHS Girls Soccer won 2-0, they go to the State final

The access road from Oak to the Parking Lot disappears for some time but does return after the project is completed

construction workers and vehicles are anticipated to be inside the area by 7:00 AM
major concrete deliveries will be avoiding the 7-8:00 AM and after bus pickup time periods

CORI checks are being done with the construction workers as well

meeting closes

Live reporting - High School Update

Present: Halter, Cafasso, Mullen, Fennell (OPM), Collins, Mercer, Feeley, Goode, D'Angelo, Nutting, Sabolinski, Jordan, Chagnon, Gilchrist

Mr Mercer provided an introduction of the Committee
A presentation (approx 20-25 mins) and then open for Q&A from the public

Construction estimate of $87,882,187... bid savings at $1.1M under budget
rebid a portion of the project, HVAC rebid, changed scope slightly and rebid, this came $554,000 under the
original bid, hence total $1.6M under budget at this point

J Nutting
financial cost gradual increase year over year up to the full cost 4 years out
$10,000 interest and 81 cents for FY 2013 (well under the $5 estimate)
interest on FY2014 under $11 thus far
with lower interest costs could get a total 25-30 dollars less per year, will be continuing to monitor

Project overview - Jim Jordan

Phase 1 now
Phase 2 - begins August 2013 until fall 2014 - major construction
Phase 3 - fall 2014 until July 2015 - take down old building build new fields
1600 parking lot spaces when all is said and done
video surveillance around building and lots

overview of digital classroom, 4 wireless access points, most installed in a building to date by architect
flexibility of teaching point of control either in front or back of room
infrastructure to support 1:1 laptop initiative
full security system built into the school, student access cards all access controlled, space specific

science labs - each over 1400 sq ft
center of room as open as possible, tables, etc. can be configured in any number of configurations

Library and Media Center
worked with FHS personnel to create a modern space
Panther cafe
"Geek squad" service counter, student run supporting 400 laptops
Fine art displays incorporated into the space

digital card catalogs
student work station space, computers spaced around not clustered as usually

Project team rooms
4 clusters on each of the 2nd and 3rd floors
so while the 1650 students in one building, operating in smaller clusters
highly visible educational space
furniture and chairs flexible and movable

Broadcast studio
largest designed to date 4200 sq ft on 1st floor
dedicated video and audio production studio, as well as additional editing space
two control rooms, more than any other design

Lecture hall
stadium style with tiered seating
80 students capacity, each seat data and power enabled for laptops

851 fixed seats
largest high school stage designed to date
full fly space on stage, no other has this design, cat walk above to enable lighting access
opportunities to rent space out
central control space, sunken floor for an orchestra pit
rear projection booth with second floor access

Band and choral classrooms
acoustical space designed
tiles may look haphazardly laid out but are designed to handle the sound properly

Green design features listed
(best shown on slide copies when those are available)
border line gold certification but strong silver is what is designed for

rain water used to flush toilets and save about 600,000 gallons of water a year

80KW to 100KW photo voltaic displays being designed for

light sensors for each room so as occupants leave, the lights would go off automatically

20% of the materials designed to contained recycled content

will loose 80 parking spaces during phase 1
pedestrian traffic will need to occur on Oak St (no longer cut through the parking lot)

work during the summer will lose further parking spots (about 300)
by doing this, the new parking spots will be available as the remainder of the construction continues

The reporting on this meeting continues with the Q&A Period here

Friday, October 12, 2012

Groundbreaking for New Franklin High School

The Franklin community is invited to celebrate the groundbreaking for the new FHS on Saturday, October 13, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. The ceremony will occur on the athletic fields between the Field House and Pisini Field. During the week of October 14, leaders of Bacon & Agostini Construction of East Providence, R.I., the Building Committee, and project and design managers will meet to plan the best phasing for the construction work to ensure public safety and minimize disruptions to students, parents, teachers, visitors, pedestrians, neighbors and motorists.

Additional information on the new high school can be found on their webpage  or find them on Facebook

Sunday, September 23, 2012

'They delivered what our community needed'

The Milford Daily News has an article on the changes in the MA school building process. The prior organization providing oversight didn't do so well. The current Massachusetts School Building Authority has created a new operation and is accomplishing much.

Tom Mercer, Chair of the Franklin School Building Committee working on the high school project has experience with the prior organization and has seen changes.
Mercer said the MSBA now has a more active role in building, which initially surprised him. 
"I will say that in the very beginning, when we started the new high school project, I wasn’t sure how happy I was with the (MSBA) being right there with its thumb over us, approving everything we did," he said. "But the more we have gotten into this project with the MSBA, I can tell you it’s just wonderful."

Read more:

What is the cost for the new Franklin High School?

What is the timeline?

What will the building look like?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Update: New Franklin High School

What has happened since the Franklin voters approved the debt exclusion for the new Franklin High School?
While it seems like nothing has been happening, the Building Committee has been quite busy. The paperwork was all completed so that the project could get out to bid which it did, on schedule. The bids are due this month.

What time line are we looking at now?
The construction will occur during three stages.
"Stage one begins on Oct. 12 and runs until the middle of June 2013. Phase two starts on Aug. 16, 2013, ending in the fall of 2014, as students move into their 306,543-square-foot school.
And the razing of the old building and planting of the new field gets under way shortly after, finishing up sometime in the spring of 2015."

How can I find out what is happening during these three stages?
"Since the project's earliest days, the School Building Committee has maintained an active social media campaign built around community awareness. This summer, committee member Ed Cafasso rolled out an updated website and Facebook page as part of the effort. 
"Social Media, especially Facebook, has been critical for a project like this, because so much of it is visual," Cafasso said. "It allows you to post pictures and renderings and share those easily. Based on what we saw during the early campaign, the Facebook page will be a valuable tool for keeping people in touch with all the latest developments over the next two years."

You can read more about the current status in the Milford Daily News:

You can view the updated webpage for the new Franklin High School here

or follow the progress on Facebook here

Monday, August 27, 2012

News on the New Franklin High School Project!

Hello everyone,

Hope you have had a great summer! Hard to believe it's "back-to-school" time in Franklin already.

It's been five months since the March 27 vote to overwhelmingly approve financing for the construction of the new Franklin High School. The Franklin School Building Committee and the management and design team worked throughout the summer to prepare the project to go out to bid on August 10.

In just one month, those bids will be open and, shortly after that, construction is scheduled to begin!

To keep the community up to date on the latest developments on the construction of the new FHS, the web site used during the campaign has been re-tooled to provide new information and new pictures on a regular basis. The web address is the same:, but you'll find summaries of new information right on the home page and elsewhere on the site. Please take the time to visit

The web site will be updated weekly as developments warrant. If folks have questions about the new FHS project, visit the "Ask Us" page of the web site or send questions and comments by e-mail at the Please be patient. Remember, this is a volunteer effort. Inquiries will be answered as soon as possible.

Another great way to keep in touch with the latest developments on the new FHS is through the NEW community Facebook page created for the construction phase of the project. You can "like" and follow the page at Remember, this is a NEW Facebook address. The page created during the campaign is being phased out. More than 400 people have "liked" the Facebook page since it was launched on Saturday.

There are no plans at this time to send out weekly emails with project updates. The web site ( and the Facebook page ( will be the chief ways to stay informed, as well as through news generated by the Building Committee, the Franklin School Committee, the Town Council, the Franklin High PCC and others school PCCs in town.

Every effort will be made to secure coverage of the progress toward the new FHS in the Milford Daily News and the Country Gazette, but the best way to stay on top of important project developments – including how construction will be phased and new renderings of key interior features – will be through the new FHS web site and Facebook page.

Thank you again for your interest and support!

Ed Cafasso
On Behalf of the Franklin School Building Committee

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:

Friday, December 16, 2011

High School Project - Updated pictures and November's monthly report

The news of the total cost of the high school project is now public. $104.5 million of which Franklin taxpayers would be responsible for $47 million. Assuming the MSBA approves the proposal and Franklin voters pass the debt exclusion to authorize the increase in taxes to pay for our share.

Updated photos depicting the architectural design of the model school for Franklin High School:

2011 11 FHS Monthly Report

Thanks to the Building Committee for sharing this information!

The informational forum held by the Building Committee on Nov 17th was recorded and is available for your listening pleasure here

Note: email subscribers will need to click through to Franklin Matters to view the document.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

"The cost to the town is expected to be $47 million"

The School Building Committee has come up with a pricetag for the proposed new high school: $104.5 million. 
The committee submitted one of its final drafts of the school plan to the Massachusetts School Building Authority more than a week ago, and the authority is expected to accept or deny the plans by Jan. 25. 
After that date, Franklin has 120 days to pass a debt exclusion to pay for the project.

Read more:

Related information from Open Forum about the High School Project held on Nov 17

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ai3 Architects

Ai3 Architects has been selected for the design of the new Franklin High School because of their work on the 'model school' program that the MSBA invited Franklin to join.

What does Ai3 do?
Visit their website to find more information on the firm's profile

They have a set of case studies on projects they did, including Whitman-Hanson High School

The Ai3 site also showcases their portfolio of 8 high schools, 8 middle schools and 7 elementary schools.