Hadley School Committee Approves $12.46 Million 10-Year Capital Plan

Published: 08/24/2022 15:40:20

Modified: 08/24/2022 15:36:44

HADLEY – A $12.46 million capital plan that will include major investments in the city’s two school buildings over the next 10 years, as well as the completion of the second phase of sports field improvements , is in the process of being approved by the school committee.

While many of the projects included in the plan won’t start immediately, the board’s unanimous approval of the capital improvement plan at its Monday meeting means more than $500,000 of work can begin this academic year. , with approximately $5 million in work to begin in the 2023-24 school year.

These year two projects in the plan would include part of the $9.4 million in miscellaneous renovations and repairs planned for Hopkins Academy, a $1.1 million roof at Hadley Elementary School, and part of 431,247 dollars in investments in information technology.

More immediately, Superintendent Anne McKenzie said the committee’s vote allows her to plead with the Community Preservation Act committee next month for $1.4 million in sports field improvements, the second phase. of a long-term plan that started a few years ago.

The capital improvement plan was developed by Colliers International, whose project manager, Chip Phillips, laid out the expenditure line by line and how the expenditure would unfold each year over the next decade, including taking into account potential inflation.

“I think overall it’s a very helpful approach,” said committee member Paul Phifer.

The document shows specific projects and the different sources of money to be used to pay for them, including income from admitting students of the school’s choice, city capital, the city’s CPA account, and grants, such as those from the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

At Hopkins, the work plan includes a $1.26 million roof for the cafeteria; replacement of the HVAC system, including $1.9 million to replace two steam boilers and switch to hot water distribution for heating; $496,000 for sprinklers; and the renovation of the girls’ and boys’ locker rooms at a cost of $924,000.

Committee member Tara Brugger said while significant investment is planned for Hopkins, she appreciates that Hadley can keep the 1954 building that serves students in grades 7 through 12 running and will not need considering the construction of a new school building.

McKenzie said the schools are able to renovate the building thanks to the excellent facility staff.

The sports fields proposal will be presented at the September 12 CPA committee meeting and could be part of the spending presented at the fall town meeting, likely to be held in October, McKenzie said.

The draft application for this project includes overhauling the existing softball and baseball fields and rotating the baseball field 90 degrees to the west, while looping an 8-foot-wide paved walkway entirely around the fields to full accessibility for the disabled and versatile use.

Any request would be in addition to the $585,000 approved by voters at town hall meetings in fall 2017 and spring 2019 for the first phase which included the creation of a second softball field and a third multipurpose field primarily for soccer, as well as a 2,100 foot field – a long paved driveway and a renovated baseball field.

School committee chairperson Humera Fasihuddin said the committee could try to contribute 10 percent to the projects, which would be fiscally prudent. The capital plan shows schools using $266,635 in school choice savings this year and $316,930 next year.

Scott Merzbach can be contacted at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.