Brendan Fitzpatrick

December 18, 2023

Framingham Approved to Join State’s School Building Authority

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FRAMINGHAM - Framingham has officially been invited to partake in the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), bringing the city one step closer towards funding a school building project on the south side.

Framingham Public Schools will now be involved in the authority’s eligibility period, which will pair city school officials alongside the MSBA to determine the proper strategy for developing a replacement for Hemenway Elementary School along Water Street.

This approval from the MSBA comes as the city continues to explore the potential development of a new elementary school on the south side of Framingham. The City Council and School Committee authorized a $9 million agreement for the purchase of property along Bethany Road from the Sisters of St. Joseph earlier this year. Back in the fall, Mayor Charlie Sisitsky signed an executive order to create the Framingham School Building Committee. The 13-member group, which is set to be fully announced by Sisitsky later in December, will work to assist in the process.

“This is such an exciting development for the Framingham Public Schools and the City of Framingham,” Superintendent of the school district Dr. Robert Tremblay said in a statement.

“I look forward to our continued partnership with the MSBA, Mayor Sisitsky, the Framingham City Council, the School Committee, the newly established School Building Committee, FPS leadership and staff, and of course our taxpayers, as we move forward in support of our children and families.”

City officials have called for a replacement of Hemenway, which was built in 1961. Proponents have pointed to the school’s lack of sufficient learning and recreational space. State Representative for the 6th Middlesex District and Vice Chair of the Framingham School Committee Priscila Sousa added in a statement that increasing the amount of schools south of Route 9 is a high priority.

“Currently two-thirds of our students live in the south side of the city while two-thirds of our elementary schools are located on the north side of Framingham,” Sousa’s statement continued.

“This investment will create more equitable access to education, mitigate transportation issues in Framingham, and broaden pathways for success in social-emotional development for our most vulnerable students.”

Tremblay’s statement on the matter also noted that the district’s Strategic Plan, spanning seven years, includes developing more pre-school access for families with 4-year-olds at the new south side building.

Framingham is now primed to undergo a state-conducted feasibility study on the south side site.

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