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Positive financial outcome expected from MSBA, says new RHS senior project manager

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Council hopes MSBA April 24th vote secures over $280 million in state funding


By Barbara Taormina


Revere High School building Senior Project Manager Brian Dakin was at the City Council meeting this week with an update on the work taking place at the former Wonderland dog track site over the past couple of weeks and provided a rough schedule of important dates leading up to May 20, when city councillors are scheduled to vote on the bond to pay for the new high school. And the news was good.

Dakin said the schematic design of the building was submitted to the Mass. School Building Authority (MSBA) on Feb. 29. Several conversations with MSBA staff followed and Dakin said those talks went well. “We heard nothing but praise,” Dakin told city councillors.

Dakin and the project team have restarted work with the Conservation Commission on delineating wetlands on the Wonderland site. Dakin said he doesn’t anticipate any problems and added that any changes due to wetlands would likely be tweaks and nothing would interfere with the program design.

“We think we approached it conservatively, said Dakin, adding, °The tricky part is getting everything in place and leaving enough room for a train station.”

The MSBA is scheduled to hold a board meeting on April 24 that will be their time to vote on the project. If approved, they will issue a scope and budget letter that informs the city how much of the cost the MSBA will pick up. The City Council will vote on May 6 whether or not to accept the scope and budget agreement from the MSBA.

Dakin said that’s when the cost to the city will be finalized and that he expects it will be as good as the numbers that have been presented – probably better. The $520 million school was expected to cost the city $285.5 million after MSBA reimbursements. However, that does not include the $100 million eminent domain lawsuit the former owners of Wonderland have filed against the city. Councillors have scheduled an executive session meeting with the mayor and the city solicitor to discuss where that lawsuit stands and its potential impact on the city prior to the vote on the bond.

City Council President Anthony Cogliandro said he is also hoping for a public presentation on the project’s finances. “I have to be sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that the city can handle this,” said Cogliandro.

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