The MSBA and Somerville reach an Agreement on Rebuilding East Somerville Community School

January 13, 2010

The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) and the City of Somerville today announced an agreement on a scope of work to renovate the East Somerville Community School (ESCS), a K thru 8 facility badly damaged by fire on December 9, 2007. After working in close cooperation, the MSBA is recommending to its Board of Directors that Somerville be moved into the schematic design phase of its capital pipeline. In this phase, detailed designs will be produced for the renovation of the 118,500-sq. ft. building, of which over 90,000 sq. ft. will be paid for by the MSBA.  

“I am pleased that we were able to work together to find the most educationally sound and fiscally responsible way to get students back into the East Somerville Community School,” said State Treasurer Tim Cahill, Chairman of the MSBA.
“We have studied all the options and explored all the possibilities, and this is the most cost effective plan to provide a top-notch educational environment for the children of Somerville,” said MSBA Executive Director Katherine Craven.
“This has been a long and complex negotiation, but we’re very pleased and grateful that the MSBA has worked so closely with us to develop an equitable solution that will help us get renovations under way. This school building not only plays a crucial role in our city’s education system, but in the larger community life of East Somerville,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone.   
“I want to congratulate the city for their persistence in pursuing the best plan for the community and thank the MSBA for working with the city to develop this solution,” said State Sen. Patricia Jehlen.

The MSBA is collaborating with municipalities to equitably invest $2.5 billion in schools across the Commonwealth by finding the right-sized, most fiscally responsible and educationally appropriate solutions to create safe and sound learning environments. The MSBA has reformed the Commonwealth’s formerly rampant and unsustainable program, which had accumulated $11 billion in debt. In 2007, as a result of programmatic reforms and sound fiscal management, the MSBA was able to reopen a sustainable, reformed grant program. In its five year history, the MSBA has made approximately $6.5 billion in reimbursements to cities, towns and regional school districts for school construction projects. These timely payments have saved municipalities over $2.9 billion in avoided local interest costs and have provided much needed cash flow to municipalities in these difficult economic times.