Town Government &
Committees: School Building Committee
2014 Annual Report
Construction work on the new Hingham Middle School continued throughout 2014 with focus on interior detail and finishes, culminating in substantial completion of the building by May 1, 2014. Attention then turned to completing interior "punch list" work to ready the building for occupation. During the summer, the School Department held a public sale of limited surplus equipment and furnishings not being transferred to the new school or other town location in order to empty the old building in preparation for demolition. The demolition process included strictly-monitored remediation activities, began in July and continued into the early fall. In August, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held in the interior courtyard and the new 680 seat auditorium hosted the annual convocation events for all district teachers and staff. The new school opened on time as projected for new and returning middle school students on September 2nd.
During the summer, a series of public meetings were held with the School Committee, Board of Selectmen, Advisory Committee and interested residents to explore the feasibility and appropriateness of installing a synthetic turf field as part of the athletic facilities under development. In the end, the Building Committee decided to pursue all natural grass surfaces for the intended fields as well as an irrigation system serviced by an on-site well.
The School Building Committee continues to meet monthly to address various project elements and outstanding site work, which is expected to be completed by June 2015. Many hours have been spent on the selection and procurement of technology, equipment and furnishings, all to ensure an optimal yet cost-effective experience for both teachers and students. As well, the School Building Committee took steps to support the continuing technology initiative of the School Committee by dedicating available project funds toward the purchase of one-to-one devices for students at all three grade levels.
Financially, the project continued under budget all year despite the approval of necessary change orders. Each change was painstakingly reviewed and considered for its relative value and cost implication, including MSBA reimbursement eligibility. As the year came to a close, approved change orders comprised a little more than 1% of the overall budget, which remained millions under the 2011 Special Town Meeting appropriation.
The new Hingham Middle School incorporates high-performance and quality design, cost-efficient construction, the inclusion of green, energy-efficient and sustainable features, and up-to-date technology and operating systems that will yield ease of use and maintenance, and is expected to achieve LEED silver certification. Most importantly, it will provide well for the educational needs of Hingham middle school students, continuing Hingham's long-standing tradition of excellence for generations to come.
As the final phase of the 2006 School Facilities Master Plan nears completion, the School Building Committee continues to be grateful for the cooperation and support of various town and state officials and nearby residents and local businesses, as well as the collaborative efforts of all involved in this endeavor. We remain ever-committed to complete this project on time and under budget.
Raymond C. Estes, Chairman
Timothy R. Collins, Vice-Chairman
Sandra Cleary, Secretary