Officially On The Hook: Selectmen Approve Bonding For New 7-12 School

Photo: The latest from Perkins + Will architects, facing Clay Pit Pond.

There was the debate, the vote by residents, the approval of Town Meeting. And on Monday, Jan. 7, the Belmont Board of Selectmen made it official in a five-minute signing: the town’s taxpayers are now on the hook to pay for the new 7-12 school building set to open five years down the road.

And the final dollar amount that’s on Belmont’s bill was calculated by Town Accountant Floyd Carman at (drum roll, please) $212,764,911. 

That number is the difference of the total project cost set by the architect Perkins + Will and general contractor Skanska at $295,159,189, subtracting $1,750,000 approved by Town Meeting last year for preliminary design and $80,644,278 in a state grant approved by the town’s partner, the Massachusetts School Building Authority, on Aug. 29, 2018. 

If for whatever reason, the project expenses overrun the projected cost, the selectmen will be required to seek the additional funds from Town Meeting, a prospect Carman believes would not be an enjoyable one. 

Carman told the selectmen the town is set to make its first borrowing of $100 million in March which taxpayers will see in February 2020. The second borrowing for $85 million will take place in March 2021 with its impact felt in February 2021. The final short-term borrowing of $27 million will be in March 2021. The borrowing will hike taxes on a $1 million home by $1,800 in February 2022.

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