The Douglas & Gates School Building Project


Acton-Boxborough’s financial partner is the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), and the Town is following MSBA’s precise process in order to reduce taxpayer impact and take advantage of state funding.

Pending a successful submission, on October 30, the MSBA will vote approve the total project budget and their maximum share for reimbursement.

As dictated by the state’s process, Acton-Boxborough’s reimbursement from the MSBA cannot be increased and the total cost of the project cannot exceed the total overall budget without local approval. The total project budget contains several contingencies to mitigate various risks as the project moves forward. The project will also use the Construction Manager at Risk delivery method which will further reduce Acton-Boxborough’s overall risk.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do we need to build a twin school?

    • Building a “twin” elementary school and including the preschool in one project will ultimately reduce the construction cost to taxpayers, accelerate needed replacement of schools by 7-10 years, and provide opportunities for operation efficiencies afforded by having multiple schools co-located in one building.

  • Why was the Gates site chosen for the new school building? 

    • The District studied the possibility of locating the school on the Douglas, Gates and Conant sites. The Gates site was selected based on community feedback and the ability of the school to be constructed given wetland and other site constraints inherent in all three sites.

  • Why will the project cost between $120M and $130M?

    • This estimate is the all-inclusive cost of the project and includes the design and construction of the new school, demolition of the existing Gates and Douglas Elementary School, as well as costs for furniture and technology infrastructure in the new building.  

  • Have any cost cutting measures been taken so far?

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Recent News

Building Project Public Forums Scheduled in Acton and Boxborough  

The School Building Committee will be holding a series of informational public forums in Acton and Boxborough:
~Monday, Nov. 4 - At Douglas: Tour at 6:30pm; Forum at 7:00pm
~Thursday, Nov. 14 - Forum at 7:00pm in Boxborough Grange Hall (Town Hall meeting room)
~Monday, Dec. 2 - At Douglas: Tour at 6:30pm; Forum at 7:00pm

9/26/19 - Building Cost Estimates Revised Based on SBC Updated Project Budget  

At its meeting on September 25, 2019, the School Building Committee reviewed a revised Total Project Budget of $117,328,519.  This revised budget is approximately $500,000 less than the initially voted budget, reflecting a reduction in fees for architectural design and project management.  CLICK HERE to see the updated cost estimates.   

9/4/19 - SBC Voted Project Budget  

At its meeting on August 28, 2019, the School Building Committee voted a Total Project Budget of $117,833,519.  This project budget will be submitted to the MSBA on September 11 as part of the Schematic Design submission.  The district anticipated that the MSBA will vote on this project at its Oct. 30 board meeting.  CLICK HERE to see a breakdown of the cost estimates including projected impact on the single family tax bill.

Acton Green Advisory Board Sends Memo of Support for Sustainability Initiatives  

CLICK HERE to read the memo from the Acton Green Advisory Board  

Building Committee Votes to Hire a Construction Manager at Risk 

At its June 12, 2019 meeting, the Building Committee voted to hire a Construction Manager at Risk.  Among many benefits, this process will allow the district to hire a sophisticated, experienced firm based on qualifications, and to save time on the schedule through fast tracking and pre-purchasing.   
CLICK HERE to see a presentation made by Skanska on May 29, 2019 about the two approaches to working with a general contractor, Construction Manager at Risk versus Design-Bid-Build    

Reimbursable and Non-Reimbursable Spaces

At its June 12, 2019 meeting, the building committee reviewed an analysis of reimbursable and non-reimbursable spaces in our current design.  The building committee is continually looking for solutions to increase reimbursement.  
CLICK HERE for details and more information.  

School Building Project Community Forum - June 10

       PLEASE COME to a community forum to see the latest design developments for the new school project and share your feedback! 
       CLICK HERE for details and more information.  

See the Latest Interior and Exterior Designs

At its 
May 29, 2019 meeting, the Building Committee discussed the exterior and interior designs for the building.  
CLICK HERE to see a presentation by Arrowstreet with drawings of the latest designs.  

Landscaping, Parking and Site Considerations 

At its May 8, 2019 meeting, the Building committee discussed landscaping, parking and site-related issues as well as exterior design elements. 
CLICK HERE to see a presentation by Arrowstreet with additional information.


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