Medfield is participating in the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) process for a new elementary school to replace the existing Dale Street School. The new school will serve grades 4 & 5. The location for the future new school will be adjacent to the existing Wheelock School, creating an elementary school campus serving grades 2 through 5.
Join members of the School Building Committee (SBC) as they recap the details of the proposed new elementary school project, the MSBA process and why the Wheelock site was unanimously selected by the School Building Committee, the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee.
As part of the celebration of Earth Day, I asked to have my signature as a Town of Medfield Select Board member added to the letter below, going to the MSBA tomorrow. Medfield Energy Committee members and other may join too. –
April 22, 2021
Deborah Goldberg, Chair Anne Brockelman Sean R. Cronin Matt Deninger Terry Kwan Greg Sullivan Sheila Vanderhoef
Via email to ______
Dear Treasurer Goldberg and members of the MSBA Board,
We are writing to encourage the MSBA to require that all school building projects funded by MSBA be fully electrified, and climate resilient.
The MSBA is to be commended for its track record of helping cities and towns replace or renovate school buildings in an environmentally sustainable manner.
As your website notes,
The MSBA’s Green Schools Program provides incentives to a district to increase the energy efficiency and sustainability for new construction and major renovation/addition projects, by exceeding Massachusetts Energy base code by 20% for 2 additional reimbursement points. All projects are required to register for the most recent version of LEED-S or NE-CHPS and exceed Massachusetts Energy base code by 10%.
The MSBA’s updated Accelerated Repair Program provides a new opportunity to apply sustainable standards to specific building systems such as roofs, boilers and window systems. The MSBA’s green programs aim to encourage a high standard of sustainability for all MSBA-funded projects. The MSBA continues to monitor the effectiveness of its sustainable policies and make recommendations for improvement, with an emphasis on energy and cost savings, resulting in direct operational savings for school districts. [bold added]
As municipal leaders interested in speeding the transition away from fossil fuel dependency, we were particularly pleased to see the highlighted above, as it demonstrates an interest in continuous improvement in the area of sustainability and carbon emissions reduction. We are following up on your interest in improvement to encourage you to tie school building funding to the following requirements for all new or renovated schools:
Heat and cooling should be supplied by clean all-electric heating and cooling systems, not oil, propane, or gas-fueled systems.
Parking lots should offer electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for staff and/or visitors.
Schools built on or near historic wetlands or in floodplains should take into account precipitation modeling for 2070 and beyond; this may entail a raised structure or building in an alternate location.
How do these recommendations fit into the Commonwealth’s climate goals?
• Massachusetts has a greenhouse gas reduction mandate of 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a commitment to be net zero by 2050; many cities and towns have more aggressive goals. The IPCC issued a report in 2018 noting that to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius — a goal of the Paris climate agreement — anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions would have to be on a path to fall by about 45 percent by around 2030. • Massachusetts also has a goal of 300,000 EVs on the road by 2025.œ As HVAC systems are built to last for at least 20-30 years, that means we must act now to eliminate this significant source of fossil fuel energy. • The National Climate Assessment projects that the Northeast will see dramatic increases in precipitation and flooding.
Why is all-electric the more environmentally beneficial choice? Under state law, the electric grid is powered by an increasing amount of renewable energy every year. In contrast, an oil or gas boiler is running on fossil fuels from day one until the day it is retired.
School building electrification is not a new concept. In fact, schools across the state are converting to 100% clean electricity to save money, improve air quality for students, teachers and staff, and advance climate goals. • Lincoln is about to break ground on a Net Zero K-8 renovation school project. • Wellesley has one net zero ready elementary school in the design phase and is in the feasibility phase of a second. • Brookline passed a Warrant Article in May 2019 requiring that all new school buildings be fossil fuel free. • Westborough has approved and is moving forward with a net-positive energy elementary school. • Arlington is about to break ground on a new all-electric high school where heating and cooling systems will utilize heat pumps. • Several Cambridge schools have been rebuilt all-electric: Martin Luther King School, King Open School and the Cambridge Street Upper School, as well as the Valente Branch Library and a new administrative building for the entire school department; the Tobin/Vassal-lane school will be rebuilt all-electric. • Construction is underway on the new Belmont Middle and High School which will be net zero and all-electric with heating and cooling by a geothermal heat pump system. • Amherst passed a bylaw in 2017 requiring zero energy new municipal and school buildings. • Concord is at the end of Feasibility for a net zero design for a new middle school and expects to start Schematic Design in the next few months (there was a CV-related delay). • Lexington’s Select Board and School Committee adopted a building policy calling for construction of all-electric buildings, maximizing onsite renewable energy, and setting high standards for indoor air quality. Lexington’s Hastings Elementary School and Lexington Children’s Place pre-school are both expected to be net positive buildings when the solar energy systems that have been approved are completed later this year.
Energy efficient all electric schools are cost-effective to build and operate, while providing a healthier and safer learning environment for students and teachers alike.
Schools built on wetlands are more likely to suffer from mold and poor air quality, and need expensive repairs, especially as our region sees more frequent and intense rainfall.
Thank you for your consideration of our views. From the Green Communities Program to the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program to the Complete Streets grants and more, we are so appreciative of the Commonwealth’s partnership in supporting cities and towns efforts to advance our transition to a clean economy and make our communities more resilient as we face a changing climate. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you in more detail about these recommendations and help you build support to enact them.
Amherst Darcy Dumont, Town Council, District 5 Dorothy S. Pam, Town Council, District 3 Patricia De Angelis, Town Councilor
Andover Maria Bartlett, Member of Green Advisory Board
Arlington Joseph A. Curro, Jr., Select Board Member Adam Chapdelaine, Town Manager
Ashland Robert Scherer, Select Board Member
Barnstable Gordon Starr, Town Councilor, Precinct 1
Becket Alvin Blake, Planning Board
Bolton Jonathan Keep, Select Board Member
Boston Kenzie Bok, City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George, City Councilor (At-Large) Ed Flynn, City Councilor Matt O’Malley, City Councilor
Braintree Julia Flaherty, Town Council, District 1 Kelly J. Cobb-Lemire, School Committee Member
Brookline Raul Fernandez, Select Board Member Werner Lohe, Climate Action Committee (co-chair)
Burlington Martha Simon, School Committee Member
Cambridge Patricia Nolan, City Councilor Quinton Zondervan, City Councilor
Concord Charles Parker, Middle School Building Committee Member
Dalton Robert Bishop, Select Board Chair Cheryl Rose, Conservation Commission Henry Rose, Commissioner, Conservation Commission Joseph Fish, Chair, Green Dalton Committee
Dedham Jessica Portee, Planning Board Member
Framingham Geoff Epstein, School Committee Member, District 6
Gloucester Jennifer Holmgren, Councilor-at-Large
Hopkinton Jeffrey S Barnes, Conservation Commission (Chair) Lakeville Jesse L. Medford, Open Space Committee (Chair)
Lawrence Jonathan Guzman, School Committee Member – District F
Lexington Mark Sandeen, Select Board Member
Marlborough Samantha Perlman, City Councilor
Medford Zac Bears, City Councilor Nicole Morell, City Councilor Paul Ruseau, School Committee Member Jenny Graham, School Committee
Newton Susan Albright, City Council President Alicia Bowman, City Councilor Deb Crossley, City Councilor Andreae Downs, City Councilor Maria Scibelli Greenberg, City Councilor Bill Humphrey, City Councilor David Kalis, City Councilor Josh Krintzman, City Councilor Marc Laredo, City Councilor Rick Lipof, City Council Vice President Julia Malakie, City Councilor Chris Markiewicz, City Councilor Emily Norton, City Councilor John Oliver, City Councilor Holly Ryan, City Councilor
Northampton Bill Dwight, City Councilor at Large Alex Jarrett, City Councilor Karen Foster, City Councilor, Ward 2 Susan Voss, School Committee Member Chris Mason, Energy & Sustainability Officer
Pittsfield Mary Stucklen, Commissioner – Green Commission
Reading Vanessa Alvarado, Select Board Member
Somerville Will Mbah, City Councilor Ben Ewen-Campen, City Councilor Katjana Ballantyne, City Councilor Kristen Strezo, City Councilor-at-Large
Taunton Phillip Duarte, City Councilor
Wakefield Mehreen N. Butt, Town Councilor Julie Smith-Galvin, Town Councilor Susan Veilleux, School Committee Member Rob Darnell, Environmental Sustainability Committee (Chair) Mary Hajjar, Environmental Sustainability Committee (Vice Chair) Robin Greenberg, Environmental Sustainability Committee Jennifer Kallay, Gas & Light Board Commissioner Elizabeth Sheridan, ESC Student Liaison
Watertown Caroline Bays, Town Councilor Angeline B. Kounelis, Town Councilor Tony Palomba, Councilor-at-Large
Wellesley Lise Olney, Select Board Member
Williamstown Anne O’Connor, Select Board Member
Winchester Michael Bettencourt, Select Board (Chair)
All year, you have asked how YOU CAN HELP get our kids back into the classroom as safely as possible, and Monday is the time to come together and make it happen!!
Today we officially launch a 5 day fundraising initiative to help cover needs that have emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as air filters, disinfecting spray and wipes. Keeping our kids, teachers, staff and administrators safe is critical, but it’s not free. Join us next week by making a donation and encouraging your friends and neighbors to do the same!
To learn more, or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit the MCPE website.
https://medfield-net.zoom.us/j/83347163639?pwd=N0phSWk0ZlViS3BPQlQ2TlhkdXBrdz09Hear from Arrowstreet, the new Elementary School Project architect, about the design considerations to be made over the next two months related to energy efficiency and net zero emissions:What is it?Why do it?Where is MA headed?Case StudiesOther Agenda Items:Utility incentives New Elementary School ProcessOther Building Types & Net Zero/Energy Efficiency Incentives for residential users Q&A/Break-out discussions A net zero building uses only as much energy as it can generate and being able to achieve that is a function of the building design. Please join us to learn more on Thursday! Sponsored by the the Sustainability Subcommittee of the Dale Street School Building Committee and the Medfield Energy Committee.
Medfield Coalition for Public Education (MCPE) is looking for new board members, men and women from the Medfield community with various skill sets and interests who want to have a voice in the improvements that reach our classrooms!
Board members do not need to have kids currently in the school system—just a desire to support and enrich the Medfield Schools.
This year, MCPE has specific needs for applicants with skills that would be an asset to our grant review team, graphic & web design, PR & publicity, and corporate partner fundraising. All skill sets are welcome, and we strive to have a board with diverse backgrounds.
The email below is from the Massachusetts School Building Authority today.
One of the next steps is for the town to evaluate using the MSBA’s Model School approach. Assistant Town Administrator, Nick Milano, reports that employing a Model School approach saved the City of Marlborough around $11m. on construction of a new school when he worked there, before coming to Medfield.
A subcommittee of the School Building Committee is also looking into whether the town can make the new school a net zero building. Lexington reported to the Select Board that its last new school was a net zero school that saved the town money from the first year, while also being better facility for the students, teachers, and the environment.
Unfortunately, the MSBA has yet to adopt a net zero Model School.
RE: MSBA/Medfield: Dale Street Elementary School: Facilities Assessment Subcommittee Meeting
Good afternoon, Mr. Peterson:
I would like to thank the Town of Medfield (the “District”) and its consultants for their presentation on the proposed Dale Street Elementary School project (the “Proposed Project”) at the Facilities Assessment Subcommittee (“FAS”) meeting on January 20, 2021.
In addition to the comments which were discussed as part of the District’s FAS presentation, Christina Forde, MSBA Project Manager, included the following comments in her opening statements:
· The academic organization of the proposed building;
· Site circulation; and
· Opportunities for outdoor learning.
The following items were topics of discussion:
· Appreciation of the Educational Program;
· Inclusion and location of outdoor learning spaces
· Appreciation of the Main Street concept
· Appreciation of a campus approach
The MSBA will be forwarding a formal Model School Evaluation to the District under separate cover shortly.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or Christina Forde
The Dale Street School Project’s Preferred Schematic Report (PSR) was presented at the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) Facilities Assessment Subcommittee (FAS) Meeting and was favorably received on January 20, 2021. In addition, the FAS was very complimentary to the Education Plan developed by the Medfield Public Schools. Representatives of the Town also saw the possible model schools that the MSBA has determined may work given our particular needs. The next step is for the Town to decide whether to proceed in the model school process which involves interviewing possible candidates.
Please consider tuning into two upcoming Zoom meetings:
– Monday, February 1 at 7pm: Wheelock Neighborhood Public Forum #2. Analysis of the recent traffic questionnaire will be shared.
– Wednesday, February 3 at 7pm: Joint meeting of the School Building Committee, the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee
Further information about the project and to sign up for email updates please visit medfield.net. Please also follow the Dale Street School Building Project on Facebook.
I started this blog to share the interesting and useful information that I saw while doing my job as a Medfield select board member. I thought that my fellow Medfield residents would also find that information interesting and useful as well. This blog is my effort to assist in creating a system to push the information out from the Town House to residents. Let me know if you have any thoughts on how it can be done better.
For information on my other job as an attorney (personal injury, civil litigation, estate planning and administration, and real estate), please feel free to contact me at 617-969-1500 or Osler.Peterson@OslerPeterson.com.