New elementary school to be built in Ludlow

Sophia Furlani, Staff Writer

Recently residents of Ludlow voted to allow the town to appropriate, borrow, or transfer funds to cover Ludlow’s portion of an estimated $60 million project to build a new Chapin Street Elementary School.

This was decided at a town meeting on January 22. The motion easily passed by a required two-thirds vote and now advances to a ballot vote in March.

The main question was whether to spend around $30 million for a new building designed to last 50 years and accommodate students from both schools, or spend around $20 million to patch up two old schools that will likely need to be replaced anyway at some point.

In addition, this project will make an effort to achieve “educational equity” for Ludlow elementary school children, who are currently being taught in inadequate, outdated buildings.

The new building will also fix the overcrowding problems both Chapin and Veterans Park are currently experiencing.

The proposed 105,683-square-foot building would serve students in grades 2-5 and replace the 42,000-plus-square-foot building that currently occupies a portion of the 14-acre campus near the corner of Chapin and Fuller streets.

Part of the overall project calls for moving the district’s Central Office, which is old and needs upgrading, to a new $3.2 million building on the Chapin campus.

The total estimated cost of the project is $59,951,421.

This includes:

  • The new school construction ($46,004,312)
  • Fees, contingencies and other “soft costs” ($9,047,109)
  • Furniture, fixtures and equipment ($850,000)
  • Technology ($850,000)
  • And a new Central Office ($3.2 million)

The MSBA (Massachusetts School Building Authority) is expected to reimburse over 50 percent of eligible, approved costs for the project.

Bid documents will be prepared between April and next January, with the project expected to be awarded to a selected bidder by March 2019.

The new school building and Central Office building on its campus are expected to debut by Sept of 2021.

Since the new building will reside where Chapin is now, there will be a big empty space where Veterans Park is. This leaves many possible uses of that area.

The Cub asked a few Ludlow High School students what they feel should go in that spot.

Junior Isabella Eskett, says that “Putting a parking lot there for the high school would be cool and useful. Although when it would be built I’d be gone so I don’t care about what happens.”

“I feel they should make extra parking in the empty space. I will be graduating the year it would happen, but for future students its a good idea” says Freshman Ariel Vital.