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The Framingham School Building Committee Announces Significant Cost-Savings with the Culmination of the Fuller Middle School Building Project

Framingham Public Schools

  Robert A. Tremblay, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools

Rochelle Santos
Media and Communications Manager

Farley Building, 19 Flagg Drive
Framingham, Massachusetts 01702
Telephone: 508-782-6099

For Immediate Release

The Framingham School Building Committee Announces Significant Cost-Savings with the Culmination of the Fuller Middle School Building Project

January 11, 2023 (Framingham, MA) On Monday night, the School Building Committee (SBC) culminated the 9-year process to replace the aging Fuller Middle School with a new 137,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility. The City of Framingham submitted its original application to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) in 2013, was invited into the program to perform a Feasibility Study in 2016, and after a year-long study, the Mayor, City Council, School Committee, and the voters approved its $98,276,878 cost in the fall of 2018. The MSBA provided $39.4 million for the project. At the School Building Committee’s final meeting Monday night, a $4.3 million cost avoidance was announced as part of the group’s final financial review to comply with MSBA and city close out procedures for the project’s end.

“I’d like to share my admiration and gratitude to all past and present School Building Committee members who contributed time, effort, and expertise through every phase of this immense construction project,” offered Mayor Charlie Sisitsky. “As co-chair until 2018 and SBC member until 2022, it has been a rewarding journey to work alongside such a dedicated group of community members whose collaboration resulted in a beautiful new building that the City of Framingham should be extremely proud of. I’m very pleased with how the city and SBC members worked together to create the team who delivered the new Fuller Middle School on time and under budget. Thank you to all who made this happen, including the Owner’s Project Manager, Joel Seeley, from SMMA; Jonathan Levi, FAIA, of JLA Architects; and Consigli Construction.”

The new school builds on Framingham Public Schools’ commitment to providing a 21st century, student-centered education with an emphasis on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics). STEAM-compatible educational environments are achieved through the creation of student-driven, problem-based, and hands-on project spaces within the school's three floor levels. Performing arts is a key component of the curriculum, being supported by the Chris Walsh Performing Arts Center in dedication to the late Representative Walsh, one of the founding members of the School Building Committee.

“The new Fuller Middle School continues to be a hallmark of our district and has reimagined the ways in which teaching and learning happens in a space that allows for visible modeling and hands-on experiences to make learning tangible for our students,” said Dr. Robert Tremblay, Superintendent of Framingham Public Schools. “On behalf of our students, their families and caregivers, and our staff, we wish to extend our deepest gratitude to the taxpayers of the City of Framingham for their support of this project.”

The school is equipped with several energy-saving features, including roof and solar carport (photovoltaic) systems that will generate 81% of the school’s electrical use. 

The School Building Committee met 90 times over the course of the project, steering the work through successful design and construction stages, and ending their work this week after closing out all final invoices. Despite the uncertainty of building during a pandemic, the project was completed safely and on time by the contractor Consigli Construction with support from Owner’s Project Manager SMMA and Jonathan Levi Architects, with 1,269 successive days of construction without an accident. The new school opened in the summer of 2021. The School Building Committee completed the project under budget. Of the $98.3 million appropriation, approximately $4.3 million no longer needs to be bonded, resulting in a savings to the city and taxpayers.

“It has been an incredible experience to participate in the School Building Committee and to help see Framingham’s newest school building to completion,” offered Dave Miles, Co-Chair of the School Building Committee. “The Project Management, Design, and Construction teams worked so very well together, particularly during the pandemic, to execute and complete the building on time and under budget. They were all very agile, managing and adapting to schedule changes due to delays in materials, closures, etc. Additionally and notably, they always remained aware and thoughtful of the needs of the Fuller Middle School staff and the residents of the neighborhood who had to deal with traffic, noise, and other inconveniences during the construction phase. It was an honor to co-chair the committee since 2018 with Dr. Ed Gotgart, alongside the members of the SBC and various other volunteer groups, all of whom remained conscientious and dedicated to the task at hand. All members brought a wide range of experiences to the table, so all issues were reviewed thoroughly from many perspectives. I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the Construction Working Group who met weekly to keep everything moving smoothly, as well as, FPS staff members in Technology and our partnership with FEC-TV which allowed meetings to remain accessible when everything was remote.”

With the appropriation of $3,212,670 in partnership with the Mayor, City Council, School Committee, and Parks and Recreation Commission, the construction of two synthetic multi-purpose fields was completed in the fall of 2022. Those fields are now available for use by the students and community. 

“The City of Framingham’s residents and taxpayers are very thankful for the work of the Fuller School Building Committee for delivering the new middle school over 4 million dollars under budget,” said Philip R. Ottaviani, Jr., Chair, District 6 City Councilor. “The process and collaboration was incredible to watch from the beginning to the completion of this state-of-the-art middle school and community asset. Not only did this process demonstrate how thoughtful and respectful the committee was to the taxpayers of Framingham, but once again, shows that your city government can be trusted to get the big projects done despite COVID setbacks and, in this case, under budget and to also include 2 new synthetic turf fields. As the Chair of the Council, I look forward to working with my colleagues, the city administration, school administration, and the school community to continue our efforts of building a new southside pre-K and elementary school a reality.”

“Years ago, the Fuller School Building Committee committed to working towards building a community asset in our Southside to welcome our students and reaffirm our commitment to equity in education,” shared Priscila Sousa, School Committee Chair, District 5. “Through their diligence, expertise and passion they delivered so much more than that. As School Committee Chair, I have no words to express how thankful I am for their efforts and what they have accomplished. I am hopeful we can replicate their efforts through lessons learned as we embark on the next building projects.” 

While the construction of Fuller Middle School is now complete, the school’s PTO is selling commemorative bricks to community members who wish to contribute to the legacy of Fuller’s past or celebrate the future. Beginning in the Spring of 2023, engraved bricks will be placed within the walkway nearest the side entrance, adjacent to the gymnasium and the Chris Walsh Performing Arts Center. Any community members, including Fuller Middle School Alumni or families of future Fuller Falcons, who are interested in purchasing engraved bricks, should email Mrs. Kerry Wood, Principal of Fuller Middle School. When the purchase process and order form are available for the broader community, Mrs. Wood will provide all of the necessary details.

About The Fuller Middle School Building Project
The original Fuller Middle School served the community for over 60 years. The school reached a point that it no longer met today's building codes, had structural deficiencies, inefficient and inoperable systems, and did not adequately support our educational curriculum. The MSBA and the City of Framingham undertook a multi-year study to develop a cost-effective, sustainable, and educationally appropriate solution for the aging Fuller Middle School.

The new Fuller Middle School is a three-story building with a learning commons/cafeteria at the core surrounded by collaboration balconies fronting a perimeter of classrooms, an 8,300-square-foot gymnasium, 420-seat auditorium/performing arts center, full-building air conditioning and state of the art ventilation system, ADA Accommodations, outdoor amphitheater, turf athletic fields, and solar and battery clean energy projects. Additionally, there is space for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) instructional areas. No swing space was required during construction, which meant a lack of neighborhood interference, and there was no need to temporarily move students to an alternative location. The MSBA provided Framingham a grant of $39.4 Million covering the eligible feasibility study, design and construction costs, which means that the City’s share after the grant from the MSBA and funds from the Capital Stabilization Fund ($8 Million) was $46.1 Million (was originally planned to be $58.8 Million). With this recent news, the average cost per year for the average residential taxpayer is now $94 in comparison to the original projection of $101 when the project began. 

About Framingham Public Schools
The mission of the Framingham Public Schools is to educate each student to learn and live productively as a critically-thinking, responsible citizen in a multicultural, democratic society by providing academically challenging instructional programs taught by highly-qualified staff and supported by comprehensive services in partnership with our entire community. For news, updates, and announcements, follow Framingham Public Schools (@FraminghamPS) on FacebookTwitter, and (@framinghamschools) on Instagram. You can also join the conversation using #FraminghamSchools.

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