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.

Following review of the project at their October 30 board meeting, the MSBA voted to approve the total project budget and their maximum share for reimbursement. At their December 10 Special Town Meetings and December 17 town elections, Acton and Boxborough residents voted to approve funding for the project. Click here for project budget information.

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.

Existing Conditions at Douglas and Gates Elementary Schools

This video is designed to provide community members with an overview of the existing conditions at the Douglas and Gates Elementary Schools.  The Video tour was produced by ActonTV in November 2019 and is narrated by Douglas Principal Dr. Chris Whitbeck and Gates Principal Ms. Lynne Newman.

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.

  • How much will this project cost?

    • To AB School Building Committee voted the total project budget not to exceed $117,328,519.  To read more about the costs of the project, visit the project cost page.

  • Have any cost cutting measures been taken so far?

click to read more!

Recent News

8/29/22 - First day of school in the new building!

On October 15, 2022, the district held a grand opening ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new Boardwalk Campus school building.  Click here to see a video of the ceremony. 


12/10/19 and 12/17/19 - Acton and Boxborough voters support the school building project 

At their 12/10/19 Special Town Meetings and again at the towns' special elections on 12/17/19, residents in Acton and Boxborough voted to support the construction of a new school building, which will house the Douglas, Gates and district preschool programs. Thanks to the members of the community for their support!  

Watch our Community Forums from 11/4/19 in Acton and 11/14/19 in Boxborough

On Monday, November 4, the Building Committee hosted a community forum at the Douglas Elementary School.  This forum was videotaped by Acton TV.  A second forum was held on Thursday, November 14 in the Grange Hall in Boxborough, with a video produced by Littleton TV.  Click here to watch these and other related videos.

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

Please join us to learn more about the building project and have your questions answered.  

10/30/19 - MSBA Approves Douglas-Gates Building Project  

On Wednesday, October 30, 2019, the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District received formal authorization from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to proceed with the proposed Douglas-Gates building project.  Click here to read more.  

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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