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MA School Building Authority Board of Directors Approves Feasibility and Design Plans for New Nelson Place Elementary School

For Immediate Release: 6/6/2012 11:21 am

Worcester, MA (June 6, 2012) - Mayor Joseph M. Petty announced today that the Massachusetts School Building Authority Board of Directors voted to invite Worcester into the accelerated repair program (feasibility and design) for 5 schools; Chandler Magnet, Dr. James A. Caradonio New Citizens Center, Jacob Hiatt Magnet, Lake View and May Street. Additionally, the Board approved to invite Worcester into an eligibility period for Nelson Place.

This partnership between the City of Worcester and the MSBA begins the process for finalizing a realistic financing plan for the full replacement of Nelson Place Elementary School, with reimbursement of 80% of all eligible costs, in addition to the other five schools.

"I have made it a priority of my office to work with the MSBA to construct a new Nelson Place," said State Rep. John Mahoney. "It is a project that is long overdue. I am also closely focused on the additional renovation projects at schools throughout Worcester. With an 80 percent reimbursement for eligible costs, it is a fiscal win-win for our city."

"When I ran for Mayor, I committed to the citizens of Worcester, as I stood outside of Nelson Place, that the conditions inside and outside this building were unacceptable. Nelson Place was built in 1927 and has served our city for nearly 85 years. We can now begin to move toward a better future for the students of Nelson Place," stated Mayor Joseph M. Petty.

City Manager Michael V. O'Brien added, "The building needs for our public schools are great. The partnership with the MSBA at 80 percent reimbursement will allow us to proceed with the replacement of Nelson Place and the accelerated repairs of five other schools. We could not do this on our own without deep cuts to all of our other infrastructure priorities."

City Manager O'Brien intends to include the necessary funding, per MSBA requirements, in his recommended Fiscal Year 2013 Capital Improvement Plan to be released this Friday, June 8th.

"Advancing to the next phase with the MSBA is a great accomplishment for the Worcester Public Schools. We are extremely excited that six Worcester schools will be funded through the major renovation/replacement and the Accelerated Repair programs. We look forward to working with the City Manager, Mayor and City Council for the funding of these projects," Superintendent Melinda Boone added.

Today's announcement is significant to the students and parents of Nelson Place, who have waited a long time for the rebuilding of this facility. Beth Proko, a parent and the President of the Nelson Place PTO stated, "I am so pleased that the Massachusetts School Building Authority, with encouragement from our local and state officials, has approved this important project and I see this as immensely positive for students, staff and the neighborhood."

Nelson Place School is approximately 45,000 square feet residing on a 9.5 acre parcel. The main building was constructed in 1927, and additions were added on each side in 1968. The school serves approximately 470 students in the PreK-6 grades.

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