Schematic Design Phase
|1.||What is being proposed?|
|The proposed school project includes the design and construction of a 75,390 square foot school serving grades pre-K through 8th grade, on the east side of the current school’s 5+ acre site located at 40 West William Street. The existing school will remain in use until the new building is completed, to reduce the impact on the students and faculty during construction.|
|2.||Who are the members of the Tisbury School Building Committee (TSBC) and what is the goal for the school project?|
|The Tisbury School Building Committee has 17 voting members and 2 non-voting members from both the school and community, and was formed based on the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) regulations.
The TSBC voting members include: two (2) Planning Board representatives, one (1) Selectman, one (1) Town Administrator, one (1) Finance Committee representative, two (2) Designers, two (2) representatives from Construction Trades, two (2) School Administrators, two (2) School Teachers, one (1) School Advisory Committee representative, one (1) School Committee representative, one (1) PTO Representative and one (1) School Business Administrator.
The responsibility of the TSBC is to serve as representatives of the Town, to make certain that all processes follow MSBA guidelines and requirements, and to identify the most educationally appropriate and cost-effective solution for the Tisbury School and the Town of Tisbury.
|3.||Who/What is the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA)?|
|The Massachusetts School Building Authority is a quasi-independent government authority created in 2004 to replace the former school building assistance program administered by the Department of Education (now the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education). The MSBA works with local communities to create affordable, sustainable, and energy efficient schools across Massachusetts. It is overseen by a Board of Directors, chaired by State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg which meets six times per year to approve projects through a diligent voting process ensuring that the available funds are distributed in a responsible and fair manner. The MSBA’s share of projects is funded through 1 cent per dollar spent in Massachusetts as part of the sales tax levy on all goods sold in the Commonwealth,
The MSBA is focused on achieving the mission of partnering with communities to support the design and construction of educationally-appropriate, flexible, sustainable, and cost-effective public school facilities.
|4.||What is the cost of the project?|
|The estimated total cost for the Tisbury School project is $46,567, 962
The MSBA construction grant is 44.28% of eligible projects costs, which is estimated to be $14,581,442.
|5.||What is the cost per square-foot for the new Tisbury School?|
|The average cost per square-foot, based on estimated construction costs or “hard costs” is $500/SF.
The cost per square-foot for the Tisbury project can largely be attributed to three major factors:
As reported by the MSBA, the estimated average cost for school construction projects to be built in 2019 ranges from $420/SF to $630/SF, which places the Tisbury School project in the middle of the projected range.
|6.||What is the potential tax impact?|
|The Massachusetts Department of Revenue requires that the District appropriate and authorize the total Project cost, including both the District’s and the MSBA’s share; however, the District will only have to borrow for its portion. The Town of Tisbury is anticipated to borrow $32,000,000; which represents its share of the total project costs, after reimbursement from the MSBA grant.
For a 20-year bond, the average increase in residential taxes is estimated to be $108.20 for every $100,000 of assessed property value (see chart below).
|Assessed Property Value||Avg. increase in annual residential taxes – in the first year|
|$515,900 (Median Year-Round Property Value)||$558.00|
|* out of 351 municipalities, Tisbury’s tax rate is the 30th lowest in the state.|
|Tax Impact – School Project Debt – Median Home Value
|7.||Why do we need a new Tisbury School?|
|The existing school building has reached the end of its useful life and no longer meets the requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s standards or the students and community of Tisbury.
Town and School leaders and community representatives have been discussing the schools’ future and studying potential plans for improvement for more than four years. Today, we are at a crossroad and need to address three (3) major challenges:
|8.||How will a new school benefit Tisbury?|
|9.||Why Build Now? What’s the Rush?|
|The TSBC, in collaboration with the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, Finance Committee, and Vision Council, have carefully studied all of the options for improving the school building over the past four years. The recommended solution of partnering with the MSBA to build a new school was given a considerable amount of study, discussion, and opportunities for the public to comment throughout the process.
The TSBC’s goal is to provide both a fiscally and educationally responsible solution to meet our school’s needs. On February 14, 2018 the Tisbury School project received unanimous approval from the MSBA Board of Directors and approval from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. With this approval, the Tisbury School project has been given the opportunity to take advantage of more than $14 million dollars in state funding to improve our school.
Per MSBA regulations, the Town of Tisbury is given 120 days from the date of approval to secure funding for the project. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue requires that the District appropriate and authorize the total Project cost, including both the District’s and the MSBA’s share; however, the District will only have to borrow for its portion.
Without the implementation of a solution to our school’s current challenges, the Town of Tisbury will still be responsible for providing solutions to the issues of overcrowding, lack of space and resources to meet State and Local requirements for educational programs and support, and replacement of major building systems.
|10.||Why didn’t SBC choose renovation/addition option? Why not just renovate the existing building?|
| The original 1929 section of the building has been thoroughly investigated by the Architectural Team and specialists. They have determined that less than 35% of the building is salvageable due to structural issues and required upgrades to meet current building codes. Additionally, repairs to the existing building and the later building additions would not solve the issues of overcrowding and educational programming requirements. Earlier building studies – that have previously been referred to – were “surface” studies and did not include an in-depth investigation of the structural capacity and compliance with current building codes.In accordance with MSBA Feasibility Study requirements, the TSBC and the project team (including the Architect and Owner’s Project Manager) conducted a detailed study of options and costs for Repair, Renovation, Renovation/Expansion, and New Construction. The new construction option was studied in multiple possible locations, including the Tashmoo Well site and the Manter Well site. The group conducted a careful examination of all the possible benefits and potential risks, as well as overall project cost, for each option over the course of more than six months. A brief of the results were as follows:
For the new construction options, the Tashmoo Well site and Manter Well site were not selected as a result of concerns from the TSBC and the overall community about the environmental impact, the loss of the school campus as a central location within the community, and an estimated higher cost.
At the conclusion of the study, it was agreed that the option for new construction on the existing school site (at 40 West William Street) was the most fiscally and educationally appropriate solution.
|11.||How will the new school be different than the existing building?|
|The new building has been designed for small clusters of learning within the larger school, with a range of spaces to facilitate creative learning environments ranging from contemplative to collaborative scales.
|12.||How was the decision made about enrollment? Will there be enough room in the new school for our student population? Will the new school be too big for the number of students we have? Why build a new school when enrollment is declining?|
|The “certified enrollment” of 285 students for the Tisbury School project was determined by the MSBA. The number is slightly lower than the school’s current enrollment of 299, due to a projected decline in school enrollment over the next 10 years.
The new Tisbury School has been designed to meet the needs and capacity for both the current enrollment and project enrollment by including two classrooms per grade level to ensure smaller class sizes. The project team has carefully managed the design of the building to reduce the overall square-footage, while making sure that all spaces meet the requirements of the educational program. Much needed specialty education and resource rooms have been added – which are not currently available in the existing building – to meet the needs of state required education programs (e.g. SPED, ELL, OT/PT, etc.). Larger shared spaces (e.g. cafeteria and gymnasium) will have a positive impact and an anticipated increase in use by the students as well as the overall community.
The new building will be managed and operated more efficiently than the existing building, leading to an overall reduction in anticipated maintenance and repair costs and a lower environmental impact.
|13.||How was the plan for the new building developed?|
|The MSBA sets out specific guidelines and requirements for each phase of the study and design process. They are broken out in to “Modules” and details required within each module can be viewed on their website at www.massschoolbuildings.org
Here is an overview of the project timeline:
|April 2015||Town of Tisbury submitted the Statement of Interest to the MSBA|
|January 2016||The MSBA invites the Town of Tisbury in to the “Eligibility Period” (Tisbury was one of 8 schools to be selected out of 96 applicants) – Feasibility Study begins|
|April 2016||Town of Tisbury votes to approve funds for the feasibility study|
|September 2016||TSBC selects and MSBA approves OPM|
|December 2016||TSBC selects and MSBA approves Designer|
|January 2017 – June 2017||Feasibility Study is conducted and completed|
|April 2017 – June 2017||The TSBC hosted nine (9) community forums and presentations and two (2) surveys to get public feedback and opinion|
|July 2017||TSBC presents findings of Feasibility Study to Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board, and the William Street Historic District Commission|
|August 2017||MSBA approves Feasibility Study Submission and votes to move the Tisbury School project into the Schematic Design phase.|
|September 2017 – December 2017||TSBC and project Team complete the Schematic Design phase. TSBC hosts tours of the existing school building and a public presentation|
|January 2018||Schematic Design Submission submitted to MSBA for review and comments|
|February 2018||MSBA approves Schematic Design Submission and votes to execute a Project Scope and Budget Agreement with a maximum estimated Total Facilities Grant of $14,792,718|
|April 10th, 2018||Tisbury Annual Town Meeting * Vote to fund design and construction for the new Tisbury School project *|
|April 24th, 2018||Tisbury Town Election / Ballot Vote * Vote to fund design and construction for the new Tisbury School project *|
|14.||Does this process require voter approval?|
|Yes. Tisbury voters must approve the school project at the Annual Town Meeting on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, by a 2/3 majority vote, as well as a majority vote at the ballot on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.|
|15.||What does a ‘Yes’ vote mean?|
| If the new Tisbury School project receives the necessary votes at both Town Meeting and the Ballot Vote, the MSBA will invite the Town of Tisbury to enter in to a Project Funding Agreement followed by the completion of the design phase.
The project is anticipated to begin construction in May 2019. New school construction is expected to be complete by January 2021; students and school faculty and staff are anticipated to move in to the new building in February 2021 with project completion expected by August 2021.
|16.||What does a ‘No’ vote mean?|
| If a District is unwilling to make the commitment at Town Meeting to approve the funding for the project, the MSBA has a responsibility to the Commonwealth to move forward with another project that can demonstrate that commitment.Per the Massachusetts School Building Authority “a failed local vote likely will result in the school district being required to submit a new Statement of Interest to the MSBA and await an invitation to enter the Eligibility Period of the MSBA’s process.”
There is a risk of the potential loss of more than $14 Million in state funding, without a guarantee that the school district will be invited back in to the Eligibility Phase.
Additionally, the school district will still be required to provide solutions to address the issues of overcrowding/lack of space, the replacement of mechanical systems in the existing building, and services/spaces to meet state & local educational requirements.
|17.||Who can I contact if I have any questions, comments, ideas, or concerns?|
|Please reach out to the Tisbury School Building Committee. The TSBC has worked closely with Town Boards and Committees to keep all stakeholders updated on the school project. The TSBC meets approximately twice a month and all TSBC meetings are open to the public.
Please visit the “Events & Meetings” page of the project website for information about upcoming meetings or public presentations and forums: www.tisbury-school-project.com/events
Learn more about the project by: