State Treasurer Steven Grossman, Chairman of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (“MSBA”), and MSBA Executive Director Jack McCarthy today announced that the MSBA Board of Directors voted to approve a grant of up to $27.6 million for a new Riverbend Elementary School in the Athol-Royalston Regional School District. One of the next steps is for the District and the MSBA to enter into a Project Funding Agreement, which will detail the project’s scope and budget, along with the conditions under which the District will receive its MSBA grant. The MSBA will contribute 80% of eligible costs toward the project, for a total grant of up to $27,651,620.
“This is a down payment on the academic excellence of students in the towns of Athol and Royalston,” said Treasurer Grossman. “Upon completion, this new school will provide a modern learning environment and create the space needed to deliver on the school district’s educational commitments and goals.”
The project will replace the current Riverbend Elementary School with a new 95,726 square-foot facility serving 545 students in Kindergarten through grade 4, plus 70 pre-Kindergarten students. The current school suffers from deficiencies in major building systems including mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. Riverbend Elementary School was built in 1907.
“The new school will provide an up-to-date, 21st century learning facility for the elementary school students in Athol and Royalston,” stated Executive Director McCarthy. “Students will soon have a beautiful new space which will undoubtedly enhance and improve their ability to excel in the classroom.”
The MSBA partners with Massachusetts communities to support the design and construction of educationally-appropriate, sustainable, and cost-effective public school facilities. Since its creation, the MSBA has made more than $9.9 billion in timely payments to cities, towns, and regional school districts for school construction projects. These reimbursements have saved municipalities over $2.9 billion in avoided local interest costs and have provided much needed cash flow to communities.