Town To Hold Special Town Meeting To Fund Feasibility Study For Wildwood School Replacement On March 8 At Shriners

WILMINGTON, MA — Earlier this week, the Wilmington Board of Selectmen called a Special Town Meeting for Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at 7pm at the Shriners Auditorium (99 Fordham Road) for the purpose of authorizing funds for the completion of a feasibility study to consider the replacement of the Wildwood Early Childhood Center located at 182 Wildwood Street.

“The final major step for the Town during the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s Eligibility Period is the appropriation of funds to pay for a feasibility study to examine a series of options for replacement of the Wildwood,” Hull previously explained. “The Eligibility Period will expire on March 28, 2022.”

The matter will be the only item voted by residents at the meeting, as Selectmen also decided to formally open and close the warrant for the Special Town Meeting immediately.

Hull noted the town initially hoped to hold the Town Meeting inside the High School Auditorium, but — due to COVID-19 — is once again opting for the Shriners Auditorium.

The Finance Committee will conduct a public hearing to discuss the warrant article on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 and issue its recommendation by Thursday, February 17, 2022. Formal notice of the public hearing will be published in the Town Crier on February 2, 2022. Formal notice of the Special Town meeting will be published in the Town Crier on February 9, 2022.

The deadline to register for the Special Town Meeting will be Wednesday, February 16, 2022. The Town Clerk’s Office will be open until 8pm on that day.

Visit https://www.wpsk12.com/cms/one.aspx?pageId=48835006 to find more information about the Wildwood School Building project, including a full-color booklet brochure.

Built in 1955, the Wildwood Early Childhood Center is the oldest school in town and in relatively poor condition. Observations in the Facilities Master Plan include: (1) replacement of the roof is required in the near future; (2) interior finishes are generally in poor condition; (3) electrical panels & distribution are largely original to the building and need to be replaced; (4) interior & exterior lighting need to be upgraded to LED; (5) boilers and distribution piping are significantly old; (6) building has very inconsistent temperature control with rooms significantly overheating; (7) kitchen hood, air handling units and unit ventilations are all in poor condition; (8) plumbing systems are subject to freezing, beyond their useful life, and need to be replaced, with burst pipes as an ongoing issue; (9) the building is non-sprinklered; and (10) the school is over capacity by 30 students and should be, based on MSBA standards, at least 4,320 square feet larger.

Ultimately, by successfully completing the MSBA’s funding program, the town could see a 50%+ reimbursement in eligible construction costs for the project. This is the same grant program that reimbursed the town 55.19% of eligible costs towards the construction of the new Wilmington High School, resulting in a $37.9 million savings to Wilmington taxpayers.

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