Office of Mayor Domenic J. Sarno
MAYOR DOMENIC J. SARNO, STATE TREASURER STEVE GROSSMAN, MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL BUILDING AUTHORITY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JACK MCCARTHY, SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT DAN WARWICK AND CAPITAL ASSET CONSTRUCTION DIRECTOR RITA COPPOLA TO PARTICIPATE IN ELIAS BROOKINGS MUSEUM MAGNET SCHOOL GROUNDBREAKING
July 10, 2013-Springfield, MA- Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Massachusetts State Treasurer Steve Grossman, Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) Executive Director Jack McCarthy, Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Dan Warwick and Director of Capital Asset Construction Rita Coppola; today broke ground on the new Elias Brookings Museum Magnet School.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated; First of all I would like to thank all the students, parents, and staff for their continued patience while the groundwork was laid for construction. A light is now at the end of the tunnel as construction of the new Brookings commences. Secondly a big thank you to Treasurer Steve Grossman, MSBA Director Jack McCarthy, and our state delegation in moving this project along for funding. Lastly a heartfelt thanks to all of those who have helped to get us here today; including many people here in the Six Corners Neighborhood, Springfield College, FEMA, as well as City and School Department staffs who have worked so tirelessly to get shovels in the ground”.
The new Elias Brookings Museum Magnet School will replace the tornado damaged building, located on Hancock Street and built in 1925. The new building will be built right across the street from the existing portable units on Walnut Street. The new Brookings School will meet today's standards for educational and programming space as well as conforming to the current building code and will be just shy of 65,000 square feet, which is larger than the old school.
“We have worked every step of the way with Mayor Sarno, legislative leaders and our other local partners to ensure that funding was fast-tracked for the new Brookings School,” said Treasurer Grossman. “We call ourselves a Commonwealth because during times of crisis, Massachusetts citizens rally around each other, and that’s exactly what we did following the tornado’s devastation.”
“The MSBA is delighted to take part in the construction of the new Brookings Elementary School,” said MSBA Executive Director Jack McCarthy. “This continued partnership between the MSBA and Springfield results in the replacement of a heavily damaged facility with a brand new, 21st century learning environment for the students of Springfield.”
Students have been in portable units since the tornado, with no gym space and a smaller than usual cafeteria space. All classrooms in the new Brookings will be regulation size classrooms as compared to the old school where some of the classrooms were half the size of today's kindergarten and elementary size classrooms. Teachers and students are all excited and looking forward to their new school
Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Dan Warwick stated; “The MSBA has been a great supporter of our efforts to provide the highest quality education for our students by allowing us to provide high quality facilities. We are extremely proud of the new state-of-the-art facilities our district has gained.” Warwick added; “Brookings stands among the schools state-wide that have been recognized for their significant and rapid academic gains and is poised to build upon that success. The ground breaking for a new building marks an exciting day for the school, the district and the City of Springfield.”
The new school will have a beautiful cafeteria area with lots of natural light compared to the old school where the cafeteria was in the basement with no windows. There will be a gym that is about 6,000 square feet in size, which is much larger than the gym at the old school. In addition, there will be a media space on the third floor of the new school which will offer expanded educational opportunities for students. The design of the new school is such that the community will be able to utilize the core spaces after school hours without access to the educational parts of the school.
Director of Capital Asset Construction Rita Coppola stated: "The design and construction of the new Elias Brookings Elementary School is a true example of partnerships at their best. After the tornado hit the City on June 1, 2011, the Massachusetts School Building Authority, Springfield College, the neighborhood, the school staff and teachers, and professional consultants and contractors from the private sector all came together to assist in the rebuilding effort. I feel privileged to be a part of this project."
To site the new Brookings the City acquired 6 properties, 5 of which have been demolished, the other parcel is a 3.2 acre open space from Springfield College. The total project cost is $27.9 million, which includes all hard and soft costs. The Massachusetts School Building Authority will be funding up to 80% of the eligible project costs after FEMA’s funding of approximately $1.2 million, with the City providing approximately the other 20%. Site work will commence this summer with the full school construction starting in late fall.