ARTIST’S rendering of proposed new Northeast Metro Tech. (Courtesy Photo)
WAKEFIELD — Superintendent David DiBarri and the Northeast Metro Tech Building Committee have announced that the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) has awarded the district a grant of up to $140.8 million for a new building.
Northeast Metro Tech is operating out of a building that is more than 50 years old which requires educational, capital and maintenance improvements. “The new school will address the current facility’s outdated building systems, including much-needed ADA accessibility and code compliance upgrades, in addition to overcrowding,” DiBarri stated.
The new facility will allow Northeast to grow its enrollment from 1,270 students to 1,600 – a 26 percent increase. This is expected to dramatically shorten the district’s annual waitlist, which averages 400 students.
“We are grateful to the MSBA for supporting a new Northeast Metro Tech, giving our next generation of students new and expanded opportunities,” DiBarri said. “MSBA has been a great partner throughout this process, guiding us toward a state-of-the-art career technical education center while keeping costs in check. Most importantly, this grant significantly reduces the financial impact on residents and businesses in our 12 district communities.”
Melrose is among the 12 communities served by Northeast Metro Tech.
“This would not have been possible without the commitment and support of the district’s delegation at the State House, which advocated strongly on our behalf,” added DiBarri.
The new school will feature 21st-century learning environments, improved Individualized Education Program (IEP) accommodations, state-of-the-art shop space, expanded program offerings, a new primary access roadway from Farm Street to reduce traffic congestion, a full-size gym, a 750-seat auditorium, outdoor space for learning and a new cafeteria.
With a focus on sustainability, the project is targeting LEED Silver+ certification with energy-efficient mechanical systems, provisions for solar panels, and vegetated roofs. The compact, four-story design will feature an upper-level courtyard, roof decks, and a double-height library rotunda.
The project is estimated to cost $317.4 million. The district will now have up to 120 days to receive support from the 12 communities it serves. The district must receive all approvals before Dec. 23, 2021; doing so will result in savings of about $24 million in additional funds for these 12 communities.
With the vote of the MSBA Board, tax impact information for all 12 communities will be available and communities will have the opportunity to vote on the project this fall.
Updates regarding the project and details about future community forums will be posted to the building project website (northeastbuildingproject.com) and Facebook page (facebook.com/NewNEMT) as they become available.
The project is being designed by architect Drummey Rosane Anderson with PMA Consultants as Owner’s Project Manager, and Gilbane Building Co. serving as construction manager at-risk.