Orange committee to discuss name and budget for new school on Thursday

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Article Author: Terry Aquino
Publication Name: Athol Daily News
Article Date: 12/31/2019
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ORANGE – What is the next primary school in Orange to be called? And how much will it cost (or how much will taxpayers be willing to support)?

These key issues related to the Orange school building project will be discussed at the next meeting of the school building committee on Thursday at 6.15 p.m. at Ralph C. Mahar Regional School.

Orange has received state support for its plan to build a three-story addition to Fisher Hill Elementary School for preschool through second grade, to demolish the 39; adjacent Dexter Park innovation school (for levels 3 to 6) and place all of its elementary students in the renovated and enlarged building.

The project was estimated to be $ 66,796,842 – up to 80% of eligible costs being reimbursed by the Massachusetts School Building Authority – when MSBA authorized the proposal to proceed to the design phase on December 11.

However, chairman of the school building committee, Bruce Scherer, stressed on Friday that the project is continually evolving in terms of costs and specific details, and warned against “getting ahead of ourselves”. “.

“The school building program is evolving as it goes,” he said.

The proposed school is in a “schematic design phase,” but the plan is to have a new reader installed to improve circulation, as well as expanded, age-specific play areas. # 39; outside.

In addition, the school must include an “innovation center”, a central location in the building which includes science and art rooms, a library, a multimedia center and a patio for outdoor lessons in a connected space. The innovation center has been praised in previous meetings by teachers as a versatile and visible space that can evolve over the proposed 50-year lifespan of the building to reflect the evolution of educational approaches.

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