Agawam Public Schools
657212ff8c79c1001eee2aba Agawam

Agawam (Massachusetts) plans $231 million upgrade of high school

Dec. 7, 2023
The improvements at Agawam High School will be part new construction and part renovation.

The Agawam (Massachusetts) district is planning to upgrade its high school with a $231 million project that’s part new construction and part renovation.

The Reminder reports that the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) would provide about 43% of the cost ($99 million), and the town would be responsible for about $132 million.

The MSBA required the Agawam School Building Committee to review three options for Agawam High School: new construction only, an addition-renovation project, and bare-minimum renovations.

The consensus among town elected officials, school administrators, teachers and community members was that the addition-renovation option would be best for the students.

The town’s preferred design is a two-story structure that has an academic wing with classrooms; a community wing with the cafeteria, auditorium, and gymnasium; and green space between them, including a courtyard.

School Superintendent Sheila Hoffman said Agawam’s accreditation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges is in danger because of deficiencies in the existing building, the core of which dates to 1955. The school is already on probation because its curriculum, especially in science and technology, is limited by its physical plan.

Hoffman said that bringing the existing high school up to modern building codes, with no changes to the floor plan, would cost $161 million over a 15-year period. It wouldn’t qualify for MSBA reimbursement, so the entire project cost would fall on local taxpayers.

 

 

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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