What is the projected maintenance cost for this proposed building and other school buildings?
A new Memorial School would increase total District square footage by just 4%. It seems reasonable to assume that any growth in costs from a small change in square footage could be offset by greater building efficiencies, given prior experience with the Middle High School. MERSD will be working with its project consultants to forecast in greater detail the impact of a new building on operating costs during the Design Development phase when energy systems and building layout are developed with greater levels of specificity.
MERSD has also been developing its long-term capital maintenance plans to extend the life of Essex Elementary prior to its renovation and to ensure that Middle High School is well maintained for the duration of its useful life. Unfortunately, budget cuts in Fiscal 2018 and 2019 necessitated significant reductions to MERSD’s annual allocation for capital improvements. In the near term, MERSD can use its remaining operating funds and reserves to address any unexpected, emergency facility costs. Over time, however, more proactive planning will necessitate reinstatement of the maintenance budget, planned use of reserves, and increased set-asides of budgetary savings to address longer-term facility needs.
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