HOLDEN, Mass. — Holden's Mountview Middle School construction project will move forward with a new building on the existing site, after the Mountview School Building Committee voted unanimously Tuesday night to present this option to the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
After weighing the costs and advantages between the three options of an addition/renovation or a new building on either a proposed location on Malden Street or the existing site, the committee was in agreement on what it believed to be the best choice for Holden and the education of its students.
Cost-estimates provided by Daedalus Project Incorporated had construction costs for the addition/renovation at $43,051,512, costs for new construction at the existing site at $46,048,120, and new construction on a new site at $44,389,285.
David White put forward the motion to select the 128,000-square-foot new school, which would be constructed on Shrewsbury Street behind the existing building.
Among the factors for his selection included the potentially high-cost of off-site improvements at the Malden Street location.
"I think that the Malden Street site, although it's an available piece of land and could be attractive for that reason, when you uncover everything and expose all the deficiencies, it will be the most expensive project without a doubt," he said.
Non-reimbursable costs for site work was estimated at $678,357 for the renovation/addition, $842,926 for a new building on the exiting site, and potentially $1,630,997 with an additional $434,245 for off-site work with the Malden Street option.
Furthermore, while he said the renovation/addition would be slightly less expensive than the new building by an order of magnitude of $3 million, he added that, "we'll be saving $50,000 a year just on operating costs by having a new building."
Another key factor in the committee's decision was the effect on students.
"I don't think anybody here can put a dollar amount on that," said White of the construction that would take three and a half years while school was in session, affecting six classes of children.
Mountview Principal Erik Githmark agreed, saying his biggest concern with the renovation and addition would have been the effect on education.
Architect Mike Pagano of Lamoureaux Pagano Associates said he believed the MSBA would support this option without hesitation, and said the risk of proceeding without approval is negligible.
Holden voters will decide if the project will move forward at Town Meeting next Spring.