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New school, parking garage on Newton's wish list

Posted by Leslie Anderson  February 16, 2009 01:07 PM

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By Rachana Rathi, Globe Staff

Newton has submitted a list of 57 capital projects that it says will be “shovel ready’’ when federal stimulus dollars start flowing – from fixing roads and playgrounds to building a new $30 million Angier School and a $7 million Newton Centre parking garage.

“We believe all of these projects are worthy of stimulus funds,’’ city spokesman Jeremy Solomon said Friday of the requests, which total more than $102 million. “We view our role as supporting the governor and his team. They’re the ones who have to make tough choices among the hundreds of projects submitted.”

In all, towns and cities across the state requested $28 billion in federal stimulus funds for projects. Governor Deval Patrick estimated last week that $1 billion to $2 billion would be provided for infrastructure improvements, the pool of money from which the bulk of municipal requests will be considered.

Newton’s list includes 17 projects identified as “either most in need of immediate attention or have uncertain funding possibilities outside of the federal funds.”

Among them are the rehabilitation of Needham Street ($17 million), Pellegrini Park ($1,716,480), Stearns Park ($945,320), and Newon Upper Falls Playground ($2,200,000).

Also on the priority list is a $4,476,468 project at Crystal Lake, including building a new bathhouse and linking that property to the recently acquired parcels at 20 Rogers Street and 230 Lake Avenue and to Levingston Cove.

The Angier School is not on Newton’s short list, but Solomon said it is a worthy request nevertheless. “We have several elementary schools in need of repair. And Angier is the one we felt is the most shovel ready among those that need the work the most,” he said.

Another project that didn’t make the short list is a $7 million municipal parking garage proposed on the Newton Centre Fire Station triangle. It would include first-floor commercial space, housing above, and a fire station and fire administration/communication space. Portions of the development would be donated to the city the developer in exchange for a long-term lease on city-owned land. Renovations to other fire stations are also on the list.

Solomon said the 57 projects were compiled after meetings with public works, parks and recreation, and other city departments.

“We developed a comprehensive list to help us improve infrastructure in our city,” Solomon said. “Most of the projects on this list will not be completed for some time without federal money.”


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