The tornado-damaged Elias Brookings Elementary school in the Six Corners neighborhood will be rebuilt rather than repaired, Springfield officials announced Friday along with school administration and representatives of Rebuild Springfield.
The school, which has been housed in temporary classrooms since the beginning of the current school year, is an Expeditionary Learning Magnet School focused on English Literary Arts and Math as well as Museum Studies and is one of seven elementary magnet schools in Springfield.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno recommended that the school be rebuilt rather than repaired since the structure is so dated, building codes have changed, and there has been a consistent need for more classroom space.
"So to us, it makes sense if you're going to spend millions and millions of dollars, it's to a new facility," Sarno said.
The new building, which is expected to be financed through a combination of funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Massachusetts School Building Authority, will cost nearly $28 million, according to the city’s director of capital asset construction. To pay for the construction, FEMA support will be provided through reimbursements and the city will have to cover approximately 15 to 20 percent of the total cost.
A public hearing on May 15 will allow members of the community to weigh in on the future of the project. Construction on the new building is likely get underway in August 2013.
The author is solely responsible for the content.
About the authors
Students in Steve Fox's Investigative Journalism & the Web class at UMass-Amherst have teamed up with the Globe to take a close-up look at the painful process of rebuilding from the June 2011 tornadoes that killed four and devastated communities in the Springfield area. Their work will also appear in the Boston Globe. Steve joined the journalism faculty at UMass-Amherst in 2007 and has 25 years of experience as an editor and reporter for print and online publications, including 10 as an editor at The Washington Post's award-winning website.