MSBA OK's Holden's Mountview School Project Proposal

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HOLDEN, Mass. — The Massachusetts School Building Authority has approved Holden's recommendation for its Mountview Middle School construction project, bringing the town one step closer toward voting on constructing a new building.

After weighing the costs and advantages between renovation or a new construction at various locations, the school building committee decided in September to propose to the MSBA a new building on the existing Shrewsbury Street site.

This week, the MSBA notified the committee of its approval to move to the next phase of the project, which is schematic design.

Building Committee Chair Paul Challenger said the decision means that the MSBA has "accepted our conclusion that building a new building on the existing site is the best option available to us."

"This is a major step and we can now begin to complete the process," said School Committee member Margaret Watson.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority will potentially cost-share 50 to 54 percent of the project with Holden.

In the next phase, the committee will draw detailed plans for the project on that site, along with more detailed cost estimates.

In February, the committee will file these additional documents with the MSBA, and, if approved, in April the committee will be authorized to present the project to the town for approval at town meeting and a ballot vote.

Challenger explained that part of the April MSBA vote will include the final project budget and reimbursement rate.

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Long time observer:

Congratulations to the School Building Committee on getting this proposal approved. This is a major step forward. Having objective outsiders to review the proposal and sign off on it gives me a lot of confidence that the project is on the right track..

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