NORTH ADAMS -- The Massachusetts School Building Authority approved the schematic designs for the renovations of Silvio O. Conte Middle School and has agreed to pay up to 80 percent of the project's eligible expenses or up to a maximum of $23.1 million.
The project, which will turn the former middle school into an elementary school serving grades K-7, was approved during Wednesday's meeting of the MSBA in Boston. The total project budget is $29.7 million.
"The plans for the addition and renovation at the Conte Middle School are a direct result of a collaborative partnership forged by North Adams officials and the MSBA," state Treasurer Steve Grossman said in a release. "We look forward to helping deliver an efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective project that will meet the community's educational demands and save local and state taxpayer resources."
The next step in the process is for city and North Adams Public School officials to enter into a project scope and budget agreement, which will detail those two aspects and set the terms and conditions under which the city will receive its grant from the MSBA.
"Once the details of the agreement are nailed down and it's signed, the city will have 120 days to receive local approval," Dan Collins, MSBA spokesman said Wednesday. "After local approval is given, the MSBA and the city will enter into a project funding agreement, which governs the project."
Conte Middle School was originally built in 1917 as Drury High School. The project will include the renovation of 77,300 square feet of the existing school and 2,700 square feet of new construction.
"The addition and renovation at Conte Middle School will remedy building deficiencies to create improved learning environments," MSBA Executive Director Jack McCarthy said in a release. "This project will enhance students' ability to excel in the classroom."
Renovations will address deficiencies in the roof, windows and building envelope, as well as electrical and mechanical systems. Additional parking space and outdoor play areas also will be constructed.