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Saugus Union seeks funding

District hopes for money to construct a two-story classroom building

Posted: August 9, 2009 9:03 p.m.
Updated: August 10, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Saugus Union School District hopes to get a $23 million boost in federal funding for the construction of a two-story classroom building at Emblem Elementary School.

"This would allow us to start construction right away," said Bob Cutting, assistant superintendent of business services, "and at no additional cost, pick up a savings."

The two-story classroom building, part of the final phase of modernization at Emblem, is part of the district's long-term capital improvements plan, Cutting said.

"It's been planned for eight or nine years," Cutting said.

The permanent building would create teaching space and allow the school to remove portables from the campus, freeing up more play area.

The district has received all the approvals for the project, making it "shovel-ready." District officials hope it will qualify for some of the $789 billion federal stimulus package.

"However, we don't have the current funding, and that's because the houses aren't built," he said.

"The houses" refers to planned housing developments that would send students to the school, including River Village, Keystone and Soledad Village.

The district hopes to receive the $23 million bond in an effort to get a headstart on planning for growth while saving on construction costs.

"For us, we'd be able to get the building three, four years sooner and cheaper," Cutting said.

If the district is approved for the funding, construction at Emblem could start by the beginning of 2010, he said.

That means new jobs in town.

"This is a good bidding climate for construction," Cutting said, adding that construction means putting local residents to work.

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