Finally!

Dec 12, 2019 by

State invites WMHS into Eligibility Period

Published in the December 12, 2019 edition.

BOSTON — If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

That simple cliche certainly proved true for advocates of a new or vastly improved Wakefield Memorial High, as the town’s outdated flagship academic facility was accepted into a state building program after being rejected three straight years. A reworked Statement of Interest this time around proved to be a charm.

State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, chair of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), and MSBA Executive Director Jack McCarthy announced yesterday that the MSBA Board of Directors voted to invite Wakefield Memorial High School into the MSBA’s Eligibility Period. During the 270-day Eligibility Period, the MSBA will work with the district to determine the district’s financial and community readiness to enter the MSBA Capital Pipeline.

“The Board has voted Wakefield Memorial High School into the Eligibility Period,” said Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg. “The MSBA will work collaboratively with local officials to ensure the best outcome for the District’s students.”

The next step is for the district to complete preliminary requirements pertaining to local approval and formation of a local school building committee. Upon timely and successful completion of the Eligibility Period requirements, the district becomes eligible for an invitation into the Feasibility Study phase of the MSBA Capital Pipeline, subject to a vote of the Board of Directors.

“The Eligibility Period is a critical step in the MSBA’s process of evaluating potential work on Wakefield Memorial High School,” stated Executive Director McCarthy. “We look forward to our continued partnership with the District as it enters the Eligibility Period.”

The MSBA partners with Massachusetts communities to support the design and construction of educationally-appropriate, flexible, sustainable and cost-effective public school facilities. Since its 2004 inception, the Authority has made over 1,750 site visits to more than 250 school districts as part of its due diligence process and has made over $14.1 billion in reimbursements for school construction projects.

Local officials were excited by the news of the high school’s acceptance into the state program.

Supt. of Schools Douglas Lyons and Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio issued a joint statement following the official announcement in Boston.

“Great news! The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) Board voted unanimously today to invite Wakefield into the 2019-2020 Eligibility Period, which allows Wakefield to begin collaborating with the MSBA to renovate or rebuild Wakefield Memorial High School. This is a terrific opportunity for our students, teachers, and our community.

“The 270-day Eligibility Period formalizes and streamlines the beginning of the MSBA’s grant approval process. Wakefield’s Eligibility Period will commence on April 1, 2020 and conclude on December 28, 2020. According to the MSBA, ‘The next step is for the District to complete preliminary requirements pertaining to local approval and formation of a local school building committee. Upon timely and successful completion of the Eligibility Period requirements, the District becomes eligible for an invitation into the Feasibility Study phase of the MSBA Capital Pipeline, subject to a vote of the Board of Directors.’

“Being accepted into the MSBA Eligibility Process is a great accomplishment and represents the ongoing work and support of the School Committee, Wakefield Memorial High School Administration, the Central Office Executive Team, the Permanent Building Committee, the Town Administrator, Town Council, and other community advocates.

 “We know that this news has been anticipated by many Wakefield families, and we commit to keeping you informed through various channels as progress is made,” according to the statement.

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