Artist rendering of proposed new middle school design

Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia offered an update on the proposed new middle school to replace Peck School in his April 27 “From the Mayor’s Desk” newsletter update. “The directive of the Holyoke community was clear,” he wrote, “build what we need at the most feasible and affordable option. We plan to deliver!”

The total proposed cost for the new building is $85,504,592, he said, noting that the Massachusetts School Building Authority is expected to reimburse $46 million of the cost, leaving the City of Holyoke responsible for the remaining $40 million of the projected costs. “It’s important to note that these estimates are conservative and through various factors, there could be a decent chance these costs are much less than anticipated,” Mayor Garcia said. “The city can afford to pay for the school and still have enough debt capacity to take on other obligations as needed.”

Both the City Council and the MSBA must take formal votes to approve the expenditures before the project can proceed. The City’s Finance Committee is expected to vote on the project later in May. The full City Council is expected to consider the proposal when they meet in June.  The MSBA is also expected to vote on the project in June. If the new school is approved by both the City and the MSBA, construction could begin in February 2024, with the school ready to occupy by fall or winter 2025. More information is available here.