Shrewsbury applies for funds for school renovations

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Photo by/Laura Hayes
Shrewsbury Public Schools wants to replace Floral’s roof.

By Laura Hayes, Contributing Writer

SHREWSBURY — Shrewsbury Public School District is seeking funding to replace all 165 windows of Oak Middle School as well as the roof on the Floral Street School. 

“These two projects need to be done,” Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Patrick Collins told the School Committee May 26. 

The School Committee voted to submit two statements of interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for partial funding of the projects. 

If Shrewsbury is successful, MSBA could fund about half of the project. 

“I think these are pretty much no-brainers,” said Superintendent Joseph Sawyer. “If the state chooses us, we’ll get $0.50 on the dollar to partner with them.” 

According to their website, the MSBA is considered a “quasi-independent government authority” to reform how capital projects are funded in Massachusetts public schools. 

Shrewsbury is filing for funding under its Accelerated Repair Program, which primarily grants funds for repairs to roofs, windows and doors and boilers. 

“They do this to expand the lifespan of public schools and hopefully preserve their prior investments in public school construction,” Collins said.

The roof at Floral is the original roof when the school was opened in 1997, Collins said.

Oak Middle School, meanwhile, was renovated in 2004 in a project that Collins said was funded by the MSBA. However, the windows weren’t replaced as part of that effort. They are 41 years old. 

“Do you know why the windows weren’t replaced in ’04 when we did the renovation?” asked Vice Chair Sandra Fryc.

According to Collins, at the time, the district believed that it would save money. 

Collins said last year, MSBA received 90 applications and funded 25 projects.

“It is a competitive process,” Collins said. “Competitive in the sense that the worse off you are, the higher chance that you’ll be eligible for funding.”

MSBA will review its applications over the summer and then conduct site visits. Shrewsbury will know in the fall if it will be awarded the funds.