Members of the Needham community—including town officials, parents, students and school staff—joined together with state dignitaries Thursday afternoon, Oct. 18 for an official reopening of Newman Elementary School.
The $27.4 million renovation project has been underway for more than five years and was completed just before the start of the 2012-13 school year. The project included a roof replacement, upgrades to the building's HVAC and electrical systems, a renovated auditorium, improved handicap accessibility and other work.
“The MSBA is thrilled to have taken part in the improvements at Newman Elementary,” Jack McCarthy, executive director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, said in a press release about the ribbon cutting. “This partnership between the MSBA and the district has provided an up-to-date, 21st century facility for the children of Needham.”
The MSBA is contributing about $7 million toward the Newman project.
"The MSBA partners with Massachusetts communities to support the design and construction of educationally appropriate, flexible, sustainable and cost-effective public school facilities," the press release stated. "Since its creation, the MSBA made more than $9 billion in payments to Massachusetts school districts. These timely payments made by the MSBA to cities, towns, and regional school districts for school construction projects have saved municipalities over $2.9 billion in avoided local interest costs and have provided much needed cash flow to communities."
Following the ribbon cutting on Thursday, Oct. 18, the Needham community was invited to enjoy refreshments and take a tour of the renovated school building.
Newman Elementary School was built in 1961 and currently serves 754 Needham students from kindergarten through fifth grade.
The Newman playground remains under construction. Separate from the building project, the playground renovations are being funded through several grants and donations facilitated by the nonprofit group Support the Newman Playground.