By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Northborough – As school children looked on June 18, town and state officials, residents, and representatives from the Massachusetts School Building Authority celebrated the groundbreaking for a major addition and renovation project at the Lincoln Street Elementary School (LSS).
The project, estimated to cost $25.5 million, will be for the construction of a new 8,000 square-foot addition to the school and will renovate 45,000 square feet of the existing structure. The current facility was built in 1965 and suffers from deficiencies in major building systems including mechanical, electrical, plumbing and windows. The school serves 270 students in kindergarten through grade 5.
The MSBA will fund $10,407,408 of the project while the town will fund the rest through a debt exclusion.
As he welcomed those in attendance, Town Manager John Coderre noted that the renovation was “many years in the making.”
“There’s something special about Northborough,” he said. “There’s something at our core that makes us unique.”
“The single largest project” the town had funded, he added, had received support from all factions of the community, he said, including at the ballot where 80 percent of the voters approved the request.
Turning to the children, he asked them if they thought “$15 million was a lot of money.” After the children shouted “yes,” he said, “You are all worth it. – this really matters to us.”
“I am most proud of this community,” he continued. “Everyone works together – there is cooperation, collaboration and respect. It’s a winning combination.”
Coderre also acknowledged the efforts of former Superintendent of School Charles Gobron who was instrumental, he said, in efforts to get approval for the project.
Other speakers included Maureen Valente, MSBA’s CEO; Christine Johnson, the current superintendent of schools, and Patricia Kress, the Northborough School Committee chair and a member of the LSS Building Committee.
After the speaking portion of the program, the officials gathered for the traditional photo where they would toss the first shovelfuls of dirt. And then, to their delight, Coderre invited several students up to do the same.