Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need a new school?
Confirming a prior study done in 2002, in 2014, an architectural firm studied the conditions of all of Gloucester’s elementary schools (except for the new West Parish, which was under construction.) The resulting report clearly showed that all of our schools are in great need of renovations, repairs, or new buildings, and East Gloucester showed the greatest need. Key findings about East Gloucester from the report include the following items, but it should be noted that Veterans was built at a similar time and has similar issues:
Mechanical, electrical, HVAC and plumbing systems in the building are over 65 years old, and have deteriorated to the point that they are no longer useable.
Antiquated heating systems lead to distractions from learning- often the classrooms are too hot or too cold, and heaters are noisy and distracting.
The school is too small for its student body.
Lack of space has compromised the educational program and made it nearly impossible for teachers to meet the needs of all of their students. Small group lessons and interventions must take place in the hallway, amidst noise and other distractions.
There are no music or art rooms.
Fire Protection is inadequate. The building does not have an automatic sprinkler system.
The technology infrastructure is insufficient for servicing modern computers, networking equipment, and phones.
There are inaccessible and hidden hazardous materials within the building that would be costly and nearly impossible to remove.
In order for Gloucester to remain a competitive and economically viable city, we must offer up-to-date school facilities to our residents and to new potential residents.
What will the new combined school cost? How much will it cost me?
The budget for the new school is $66.7 million of which the MSBA has approved a maximum grant of $26.9 million, therefore, the projected cost to Gloucester is $39.8.
The cost to property owners will be approximately $20 per $100,000 of assessed value for 25 years.
Why is consolidation of EGS and Veterans' part of this project?
Both East Gloucester and Veterans are in dire need of new or renovated school buildings in order to properly educate our children. It is much less costly to build one consolidated, larger school rather than two smaller buildings. Consolidation of the schools is the most fiscally responsible choice for the city. Aside from cost, building one new school instead of two will take far less time, resulting in a new school facility for a greater number of children in less time. Further, a new school will be designed to create an intimate learning environment for elementary students.
What is a feasibility study?
The MSBA requires that school districts conduct a feasibility study to determine the best site for a new school building. On December 12, 2018, the Gloucester City Council voted to approve funding for the feasibility study. This enabled us to move forward to the feasibility study phase of the project, which will lead to a construction plan for a new school in our district.
A team of experts (engineers, architects, designers, etc.) will worked with the School District and the MSBA to examine all potential sites in Gloucester where a new school could be built. This phase included pre-construction work such as site evaluation, traffic and access analysis, etc. This information was examined along with our educational program and the needs of our students. In the end, the study enabled us to make a plan for the most cost effective and appropriate solution for a new school in Gloucester, so that we can meet the needs of every child.