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North St. and Trahan Reuse - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please complete survey by Tues., Oct 4th at noon (12:01 PM)

Please review these FAQs before proceeding to the survey.

When are these schools becoming empty?
Students are scheduled to move from the Trahan and North St. schools to the new Center Elementary School in early 2023.
Why do we need to take action?
The School Committee’s budget for maintaining both properties ends June 2023 and the assumption is they will be released to the town after June 30th 2023. Beginning July 2023, it is projected that it will cost to maintain the empty buildings if their disposition has not been decided. Costs include insurance, utilities and general maintenance/security of the properties.
Vacant buildings are often the victims of graffiti, unauthorized entry and vandalism, resulting in neighborhood eyesores and liability for the town.
Why can’t the town just reuse the buildings?
They are past their useful life and are not up to code -- for example, there are no sprinklers. They are not ADA compliant, and there are hazardous materials. Remediation would be much more expensive than demolition, though future buyers could choose to repurpose part or all of the existing structures. You can see photos from inside the buildings as well as an evaluation of their condition in a report prepared for the committee, which is available here, beginning on Page 13.
You can see a narrated video tour showing the state of the internal HVAC and electrical systems here: 
What will happen to the playgrounds?
The playgrounds must be maintained either on site or on a comparable site that is accessible to the public because they were purchased with Community Preservation Act funds. It would be expensive to move them and maintain structural integrity, and doing so would require a vote at town meeting. 
What will it cost to demolish the schools? 
Consigli, the general contractor building the new elementary school, estimates the cost to demolish both schools at approximately $4.6 Million, roughly $2.2 Million for the Trahan and $2.4 Million for the North.  The bulk of this cost, approximately $1 million, is hazardous materials abatement costs. Depending on how the town wants to use the land, there would be additional costs for the site work. Repurposing the buildings for municipal use would run $200 to $250 per square foot. Each building is upward of 40,000 square feet. Consultants estimate about $8 million to $12 million per building for renovation.
What is the assessed value of the properties?
The 2022 assessed values are as follows:
North St. School: Land: $476,400; Building/Improvements: $3,595,200
Trahan School: Land: $492,100; Building/Improvements: $2,326,900
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