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State gives nod to feasibility study to replace Estabrook school in Lexington

Posted by Brock Parker  February 11, 2011 04:27 PM

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The Massachusetts School Building Authority has agreed to work with Lexington on a feasibility study for replacing the Estabrook Elementary School after polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) at the school forced a temporary closure last fall.

The MSBA announced this week that it has voted to move the school project into the pipeline for potential state funding and will work with the town on the feasibility study.

“We are committed to working with Lexington to find the most economical solution to the problems at Estabrook so that the children of Lexington can grow and learn in an educationally appropriate and safe facility,” said state Treasurer Steven Grossman in a press release.

Lexington schools submitted a statement of interest in replacing the school late last year and the town has included about $1 million for the feasibility study in the budget proposed for the coming fiscal year.

The 40-year-old school was closed for a week at the beginning of September when elevated levels of the dangerous chemicals were detected. When the school reopened, several classes, including kindergarten students, were moved out of one problematic wing in the building, and the shift of the students started a chain-reaction of classes being relocated throughout the school. The town has since spent hundreds of thousands on continued testing at the school and has taken several steps that have helped decrease the PCB levels in the classrooms.

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