Aitken Elementary School Costs Total $11 Million
The 10 classroom addition to Aitken Elementary School and in the installation of a building-wide unit ventilator replacement cost town residents $11 million. According to Seekonk Town Administrator Shawn Cadime, the project had been bonded for a 20 year period. Cadime also provided an overview of the town budget and employee salaries at a joint meeting Wednesday with the School committee, the Capital Improvement committee, and the Finance committee. Seekonk School Superintendent Rich Drolet said the additional classrooms at Aitken were needed to decrease class sizes. Voters approved $10.5 million at a 2019 town meeting for the project, which was completed last June.
“Besides decreasing class sizes, the Aitken expansion project also allowed us to equitably place specialized special education programs between the two elementary schools (they used to all be housed at Martin ES), expand the parking lots, add a drive-around loop in the back, add a new preschool playground and basketball court, and also add a new "Makerspace" inside and outdoor learning space outside,” Drolet said Friday.
Drolet noted the school department would be meeting with the Capital Improvement committee within the next few months to discuss FY’23 Capital Outlay Town Budget requests. Some new items will be added to the list, such as the need for a new playground at Martin Elementary School. Some capital items may be able to be removed from the FY’22 list based on new ESSER 3 grant funding (clean and seal CMUs, some HVAC work), Drolet added.
The town will also be borrowing money for several upcoming projects, including the second phase of construction for the Senior Center, the High School turf field, the South End fire station, and the new Department of Public Works building.
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