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Costly Errors in the $30,000 Feasibility Study

I took a look at some of the costly errors from the Feasibility Study dated Dec. 21, 2004.

The Hampden-Wilbraham School Committee retained an architect for the high school project. The architect performed a feasibility study and said a new high school would cost approximately $63 million. Listed below are some of the costly errors.

This feasibility report said the State would fund 54 percent of the $63 million. The formula for the percent of State funding has not been established.

This feasibility report used 30 year bonding. The State law Chapter 70B allows only 25 year bonding.

Included in this $63 million plan was a six lane swimming pool. The State has never shared in funding for swimming pools and pool buildings.

The District Office area was included in the $63 million plan. The State never has shared in funding for District Office construction.

The feasibility study also has a Do Nothing plan. This plan would cost $31 million and they declared that the State would not fund this plan. The State will fund renovation plans at five percentage points more than for a new building.

An e-mail by Susan Flanagan-Cahill, General Counsel for the Mass School Building Authority dated Oct. 11, 2005. "The DOE's regulations, policies and procedures do not apply to the new school building assistance program, and one cannot assume that since something was allowed under the DOE's regulations, policies or procedures, it will be allowed under the new program and the Authorities regulations."

Remember, this feasibility study has guided the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School District for the past year and a half. Some one of them should have seen these errors and asked that they be corrected. Is it possibly they were ignored because they helped prove their case for a new high school?

Allan R. Kinney

Vice Chairman, Concerned Citizens of Wilbraham