• Memorial Building Project Ariel View!

    Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 10/3/2019

    Memorial Building Project Ariel View!

    Construction is underway at the Memorial School and we are on track to be in the new academic wing at the start of the 2020-2021 school year. 
     
    Check out an ariel view of the progress.
     
     

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  • Safety First…Getting to/from MMES 2019-2020

    Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 9/9/2019

    Safety First…Getting to/from MMES 2019-2020

    With the on-going construction of the new Memorial School, new safety measures are being suggested to address the well-being of students, teachers, families, and neighbors. Being aware of construction traffic in combination with the area’s K-12 parent traffic, one goal is to minimize vehicle use around the school. 

    Please be mindful of crosswalk, sidewalk, parking lot, and roadway safety.

    For student arrival and dismissal, please consider:

    • Walking or biking to school
    • Joining a Walking School Bus that will use the routes on the attached map
    • Riding the school bus
    • Carpooling
    • Using the designated satellite “Park and Walk” locations. Everyone is counting their steps these days and what better way to get ahead in your count than by driving to a common area and walking with your student to school.

    Locations include:

    • Sweeney Park
    • Masconomo Park
    • Town Offices
    • Norwood Avenue (resident lot)
    • Friends Street (on-street parking)
    • Pulaski Drive (on-street parking)

    The Coach Field lot on Brooks/Norwood Streets is open ONLY for construction. No parent parking or access will be available.

    Memorial School Walking Plan

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  • Memorial Building Project Update - February 2019!

    Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 2/14/2019

    The Memorial School Building Committee (MSBC) has been hard at work over the past few months collaborating with the Design and Project Management Team on the development of more detailed design specifications that will be used to refine estimates and guide construction.  In accordance with the MSBA project development plan, MERSD will be submitting three design progress reports with increasing levels of detail before the final approval in late summer. Through each phase, the team engages in both a design refinement and cost management process to ensure the building not only meets our educational needs but also stays on budget.

     Birdseye

    Project Timeline:  Construction will begin in the summer of 2019 and end in the fall/winter of 2021 with students in their new classroom spaces by fall of 2020 and, common/administrative spaces (e.g., gym, cafeteria, main office) being completed during the 2020-2021 school year. Demolition will occur during the summer when school is not in session.  During construction, students will be housed in the current Memorial School building and moved to the new classroom space by Fall 2020.  A full phasing and safety plan is under development and will be communicated in early May. 

     Main Entry

    Community Input:  MERSD will be hosting a Community Meeting March 13th at 7:00 pm at the Manchester Memorial School.  The meeting provides an opportunity to keep the Manchester and Essex communities up-to-date on the process and to gather feedback.  Topics will include a design update, an overview of project phasing, and a construction timeline. For more information, including drafted architectural designs for the proposed building, budget information please visit the Memorial School Building Committee webpage.

     

     Gym Entry

     

     

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  • Thank You to the MERSD Community!

    Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 11/8/2018

    Thank you to the residents of Essex and Manchester for supporting the Memorial School Project. I am thrilled at the outcome and thankful to the members of the School Building Committee and Vote Yes for Kids who contributed their time and energy to the development and communication of the plan to the MERSD Community. From value engineering and design review to hosting coffees and holding signs in the rain, the expertise and commitment of our community volunteers were critically important to the successful vote on the Memorial Building Project.   

    The communities of Essex and Manchester have a strong reputation for their commitment to high-quality schools. On behalf of the faculty and staff of MERSD, I extend my sincere appreciation to the residents of the communities of Manchester and Essex for your continued investment in education and your unwavering support of our students and of our schools.

    For more information, including drafted architectural designs for the proposed building, budget information and Memorial Project FAQs please visit the Memorial School Building page.

    Updates on next steps coming soon! 

     

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  • Why aren’t we building one unified elementary school between the two towns?

    Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 10/10/2018

    As we approach our Fall Town Meetings, the Manchester Essex Regional School District wants to highlight our Frequently Asked Questions page and highlight issues that have arisen in conversations with voters, particularly around the “one school issue.”

    Why aren’t we building one unified elementary school between the two towns?

    There are several reasons that the District is not pursuing a single elementary school on the School Street/Southern Avenue corridor.

    • The Regional agreement between the two towns says that each town will retain an elementary school.
    • In 2013, the District looked at the possibility of a combined school in the Habeeb Report. The acreage needed for that combined school was 30 acres of usable land, which could only be found on land on the Southern Avenue/School Street corridor.
      • Cost projections of site (2 identified) acquisition in 2013 were above $6M.
      • Site development was estimated to be about the same cost.
      • Of those dollars, the acquisition would not be reimbursed by the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) and site development would be capped for reimbursement at 8%.
      • Bringing utilities to the sites would fall fully on the District.

    This option was deemed too costly to the two towns.

    • Several years ago, the District conducted a study to determine if the towns wanted a single elementary or two neighborhood schools. The results of that study were that the majority of residents in both towns (more than 600 responses) wanted to retain their neighborhood schools.
    • In the spring of 2016, both towns voted overwhelmingly to fund a $650,000 Feasibility Study for the Memorial School project.
    • The current school building committee worked with the Owner’s Project Manager and Designer to revisit the one school option, but determined that the same concerns raised in the Habeeb report precluded the District from pursuing that solution:
      • The MSBA does not reimburse for site acquisition costs. The cost of any purchase of land would be fully borne by the two towns.
      • The MSBA caps site development cost reimbursement at 8%, which, for a new site, would be a considerable expense.
      • All utilities would have to be brought to the newly acquired site, which MSBA will not reimburse.
      • All elementary school students would have to be transported to the new site—a costly increase to our annual expenses.
      • As part of this process, we asked the administration to consider operational cost savings (annual savings, mostly on personnel). Staffing is tied to population, so at best, we would see a savings in a few positions, but not enough to offset the unreimbursable capital debt or the increase in transportation costs.
      • Concerns were raised by the two towns that an even more costly solution, at this time, would be an unusual burden on some taxpayers.

    Why not build one school in Essex

    Some people have asked why we can’t build one combined school in Essex. Again, the acreage isn’t there, nor is the community interest. The data and the lack of support in a combined school during the past two years of the MSBC shows that residents in both towns value their neighborhood schools. Finally, the prospect of transporting 2/3 of the elementary school population (many of whom walk or ride bikes to school now), will cause a significant increase to our already tight annual budget.

     

    For more information, including drafted architectural designs for the proposed building, budget information and Memorial Project FAQs (https://www.mersd.org/domain/793)lease visit the Memorial School Building (https://www.mersd.org/domain/767).

     

     

     

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  • Memorial School Building Community Fall Community Meeting Schedule

    Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 9/17/2018

    Memorial School Building Community Fall Community Meeting Schedule

    Building project update and opportunity to ask questions about design, budget, timeline and process!

     

    September 26th

    • Memorial School 9:00am
    • Essex Elementary 7:00pm

    October 10th

    • Essex Elementary 9:00am
    • Memorial School 7:00pm

     

    The Memorial School Building Committee has completed the Schematic Design for a proposed new Memorial Elementary school and the MSBA has approved the project, scope, and budget.  The next step in the process is to bring the project forward to the community for local approval.  Each town needs to vote twice - once at Fall Town Meeting and once at the ballot.

    • Manchester Town Meeting: October 15th
    • Essex Town Meeting: October 16th
    • Both towns at the ballot: November 6th

    If the community supports the Memorial School Project, construction will begin in the summer of 2019 and end in the fall/winter of 2021, with students in their new classroom spaces by fall of 2020.

    For more information, including drafted architectural designs for the proposed building, budget information and Memorial Project FAQs  - https://www.mersd.org/domain/793 please visit the Memorial School Building page - https://www.mersd.org/domain/767.

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  • Schematic Design

    Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 6/7/2018

    May 30th Community Meeting Presentation

    The Memorial School Building Committee is the final phases of Schematic Design. From March to June, JCJ Architecture has been working to develop a robust schematic design in sufficient detail to establish the scope, revised budget, and schedule for the proposed project. Upon completion and approval by the SBC and School Committee, Exterior

    the design will be submitted to the MSBA for approval. Once approved by the MSBA, the project is then brought to the community for local approval. The overall goal of Schematic Design is to develop a project that is both cost-effective and aligned with the needs of MERS D ’s educational program

    Visit the Building Committee page to review the entire presentation

     

    Community Input: To date, the Memorial School Building Committee has hosted four community meetings at Memorial School to keep both the Manchester and Essex communities up-to-date on the process and to gather feedback. 

    Community Meeting Topics Reviewed

    MSBA grant program process and schedule

    Review of existing conditions of Memorial school

    Site selection decision making

    Feasibility phase building options

    Evaluation of design options

    Preferred Schematic Design Updates

    Project timeline

    Upcoming Building Committee Meetings 

    June 12th - Review Cost Estimates

    June 26th - Initial Approval of Schematic Design

    July 11th (6:00 pm) - Approval of Schematic Design

         Meetings @ 7:00 pm MERHS Learning Commons unless otherwise noted

     

    Timeline: In October 2017, representatives from MERSD met with the Finance Committees and the Boards of Selectmen in both towns to review progress on the Feasibility Study and to ask for their support of a November 2018 town vote to fund the Memorial School building project. Both the Manchester and Essex Boards of Selectman voted unanimously to support this effort. This puts us on a pathway to hold a special town meeting in October 2018 at which we will seek local approval for the project with the ballot vote to be held on November 6, 2018.

     

    A Look Ahead

    June - July 2018        Schematic Design & Cost Proposal Development

    October 2018             Town Meetings Held

    November 2018         Town Votes

     

    Just learning about the Memorial Building Project and want more information

    Review the History of the Project on our Project Updates Page!

     

    Frequently Asked Questions!

     

     

     

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  • Memorial Building Project Update Winter '18

    Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 3/13/2018 12:00:00 PM

    Memorial Building Project Update

    Project Update: At our February 13th joint meeting, the Memorial School Building Committee (SBC) and MERSD School Committee voted unanimously to approve the Preferred Schematic Design Report (PSR) identifying “N-3 - The Hub” as the preferred option to be further developed during the Schematic Design phase.

     hub 1

     

    Hub 2

     

    This is the most significant milestone in the MSBA’s Feasibility Study phase and sets the stage for the remainder of the process.  The preliminary cost estimate for the project is $55,600,000, with the district share after MSBA reimbursement estimated to be $41,600,000. From March to June of this year, JCJ Architecture will be working to develop a robust schematic design of sufficient detail to establish the scope, revised budget, and schedule for the proposed project. Upon completion and approval by the SBC and School Committee, the design will be submitted to the MSBA for approval. Once approved by the MSBA, the project is then brought to the community for local approval. The overall goal of Schematic Design is to develop a project that is both cost-effective and aligned with the needs of MERSD’s educational program.

     

    Tmln

    Community Input: To date, the Memorial School Building Committee has hosted three community meetings at Memorial School to keep both the Manchester and Essex communities up-to-date on the process and to gather feedback. We are also planning an April meeting in Essex to ensure Essex parents and residents are apprised of the project and its implications.  Our next district-wide meeting is scheduled for May 23rd and the focus will be the development of the schematic design and project budget.

     

     

    Community Meeting Topics Reviewed

    MSBA grant program process and schedule

    Review of existing conditions of Memorial school

    Introduction of potential building sites

    Site selection decision making

    Feasibility phase building options

    Evaluation of design options

    Project timeline

     

     

    Timeline: In October, representatives from MERSD met with the Finance Committees and the Boards of Selectmen in both towns to review progress on the Feasibility Study and to ask for their support of a November 2018 town vote to fund the Memorial School building project. Both the Manchester and Essex Boards of Selectman voted unanimously to support this effort. This puts us on a pathway to have a project schematic design and cost proposal available in Spring of 2018. Throughout the coming months, representatives from the Building Committee will be at various community events in both towns to answer questions about our progress and the project.

     

    A Look Ahead

    March – June 2018                         Schematic Design & Cost Proposal Development

    September/October 2018             Town Meetings Held

    November 2018                               Town Votes

     

     

    Learn More about the Memorial Building Project Background & Process

    • mersd.org – Quick Link: Memorial Building Committee


     

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  • Preliminary Design Program Submitted to MSBA

    Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 11/28/2017

    The Memorial School Building Committee (SBC) and its team of consultants submitted its Preliminary Design Program (PDP) to the (MSBA) Massachusetts School Building Authority on November 22nd. This is the first milestone in the MSBA’s Feasibility Study phase.  

     


     

    What’s In the Preliminary Design Program?

    • Memorial School educational program
    • Memorial School initial space summary and existing conditions report
    • Site analysis and site determination- Memorial School site has been selected
    • Project design parameters and initial design options for further study
    • Conceptual budget for each option, based on cost per square foot

     


    The overall purpose of the Feasibility Study is to gather information about potential sites and design options, identify options for development, analyze their pros and cons, and choose a preferred option for high level schematic design and budget estimate. The PDP document is the first progress report in this process. In the PDP, MSBA requires all districts to present three types of options:  renovation only, renovation with additions, and new construction.  These options will be examined in detail by MERSD in the next phase of the feasibility process.  From December to February, the Building Committee will be working to narrow down the potential options and will submit a Preferred Schematic Design (PSD) option to the MSBA for approval and further development.  The overall goal is to identify an option that is both cost effective and aligned with the needs of MERSD’s educational program.

     

    Community Input:  This the fall, the Memorial School Building Committee hosted two community meetings at Memorial School to keep both the Manchester and Essex communities up-to-date on the process and to gather feedback. The meetings focused on the MSBA grant program process and schedule, the existing conditions of Memorial school, and introducing potential building sites.  The second community meeting focused on site selection decision making, feasibility phase building options, and project timeline.   The next community meeting in late January will include updates on the evaluation of building options being considered by the Building Committee.

     

    Timeline:  In October, representatives from MERSD met with the Finance Committees and the Boards of Selectmen in both towns to review progress on the Feasibility Study and to ask for their support of a November 2018 town vote to fund the Memorial School building project. Both the Manchester and Essex Boards of Selectman voted unanimously to support this effort. This puts us on a pathway to have a project schematic design and cost proposal available in Spring of 2018. Throughout the coming months, representatives from the Building Committee will be at various community events in both towns to answer questions about our progress and the project.  Please look for us!

     

     

    Dec. 2017 – February 2018

    Identification of design option for development

    January 31, 2018

    MSBC Community Meeting

    February 21, 2018

    Submission to MSBA of Preferred Schematic Design

    March – June 2018

    Schematic Design & Cost Proposal Development

    September 2018

    Town Meetings Held

    November 2018

    Town Votes

     

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  • Memorial Building Project Update - Fall 2017

    Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 8/30/2017

    In the Spring of 2016, MERSD established the Memorial School Building Committee (MSBC) and received support from our communities to enter into a Feasibility Study with the Massachusetts School Building authority (MSBA).  The MSBA provides state matching funds for construction, and an oversight process to promote efficiency and effectiveness of local building projects.  As one of its first tasks, the MSBC was charged with identifying an Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) for the upcoming building project.   The OPM, who will be with us for the duration of the project, works to oversee the building process and helps to safeguard the District’s interests.  Last March the MSBA approved the Memorial School Building Committee’s recommendation of Dore & Whittier to serve as MERSD’s OPM for the Memorial project.   With the assistance of the OPM, and in adherence to the MSBA process, the MSBC then identified and contracted with JCJ Architecture to act as the design team for the Memorial Building Project – Feasibility Study.  Together the MSBC, Dore & Whittier, and JCJ will work to find fiscally responsible, forward-thinking solutions for the Manchester elementary school building that meet the needs of the District’s current and future curriculum program, are mindful of future maintenance and the impact on the environment, serve the school community, and are supported by voters in Manchester and Essex, as well as the MSBA.  In the end, the Feasibility Study will determine whether to renovate or replace the Memorial School.  There will be several opportunities for public input throughout the process, with the first Community Meeting scheduled for October 4, 2017

     

    Knowing that facility needs of Memorial Elementary School have been prioritized by the MSBA process, MERSD has turned its attention toward developing a multi-year capital plan for extending the useful life of Essex Elementary, which is more than fifty years old, but in better condition than Memorial.  MERSD is currently working with the Town of Essex to leverage Green Community grant funding for energy saving improvements that can minimize the annual cost of operations.  To learn more about the Memorial Building Project Background & Process please visit the MSBC-Memorial Building Project

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