School Building Maintenance Plan—District Managed
Significant building-related repairs and systems replacement projects that are part of the district’s overall school-building maintenance plan are also supported through the capital fund. Revenue, which consists of both “pay as you go” funding and city issued bonds, is allocated by the City through an annual review process by the City’s Capital Investment Committee. These projects are primarily managed by the School Department and include projects for which the city received MA School Building Authority (MSBA) reimbursement.
FY 2023 Capital Allocation for Building Maintenance Projects
The City has allocated $1.8 million for FY 2023 to replace the existing gas boilers at the Morse and Cambridgeport schools, which have reached their useful life. The replacement of the aging boilers will save on maintenance cost, and future funds will be used for similar projects at other schools.
Major School Building Reconstruction Projects - City Managed
Major school building construction projects, including new buildings and comprehensive, building-wide renovations are funded through City-issued, tax-supported bonds. The City can authorize debt up to 5% of the valuation of taxable property or double that limit with state approval. Major building reconstruction projects and the related funds are managed by the City. The Tobin Montessori and Vassal Lane Upper Schools Project will provide new facilities for the Tobin Montessori School, Vassal Lane Upper School, Special Start and Department of Human Services Programs preschool and afterschool programs. In addition, the project provides an infrastructure opportunity to help mitigate street flooding in the neighborhood with the construction of a 1.5 million gallon underground stormwater tank on-site. The project is being designed as a Net Zero Emissions Facility and includes renovation of the open space area around the school. The construction period is scheduled from July 2021 to September 2025.
Recently Completed & On-Going Major Building Projects
Reconstruction, M.L. King Jr./Putnam Ave Schools: Completed in 2015
Reconstruction, King Open/Cambridge Street Schools/Administration: Completed in 2019
Reconstruction Tobin/Vassal Lane Upper Schools: Estimated Completion: 2025
Debt Service Projections
The City manages debt for all capital projects, including school related projects. During the past decade the City and Schools have embarked upon a major school building renovation and reconstruction program, including the reconstruction of the M.L. King and Putnam Ave schools, completed in 2015, the reconstruction of the King Open and Cambridge Street schools, completed in 2019, and the reconstruction of the Tobin Montessori and Vassal Lane schools with a scheduled completion date of 2025. Debt service payments related to school building projects (including major renovations, reconstruction, and building maintenance) are projected over the next five years.