Minuteman sells first bonds for construction of new high school

rebuild 300 82817Site work proceeds in Lincoln on a new Minuteman High in an August photo; current school in background.

UPDATED, Sept. 20: The Minuteman School Committee, in a 10-0 vote, this month approved the sale of $36 million in general-obligation bonds for constructing a new high school.

Eight financial institutions competed to purchase the bonds. The low bid was submitted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, with a true interest cost of just over 3.09 percent. The high bid was just over 3.43 percent.

The district offered the bids after receiving a credit rating of "AA" from S&P Global Ratings.

"We’re pleased with the results," said Kevin F. Mahoney, assistant superintendent of finance for Minuteman, "The effective interest came in lower than we had projected so we’re working within our budget and saving money for the District in the long run."

The new school will cost $144.9 million. About $44 million is to come from a grant from the state School Building Authority, and the district is borrowing about $100 million.

District officials plan two additional bond sales to cover the district's share of the project. The second bond sale is tentatively scheduled for the late spring of 2019.

Construction of the new school is underway. The site has been cleared and foundation work is beginning this month.

The new school is expected to be completed in time for the start of school in the fall of 2019.

The new school is designed for two career academies offering a total of 16 career and technical education programs, including two new ones: advanced manufacturing and multimedia engineering.

New Minuteman High moves ahead on schedule

Site-preparation work for construction of a new Minuteman High School is moving ahead on schedule, without surprises, the construction manager says. 

Walter Kincaid, project executive for Gilbane Building Co., updated neighbors during a meeting at Minuteman High School to keep nearby residents apprised of progress on the $144.9 million construction project.

"Things are progressing well," Kincaid said in an Aug. 28 news release, adding that construction crews haven’t run into anything unexpected or unusual while clearing and excavating the site.

He expressed confidence that the project will be completed within two years. "We’re going to put kids in the new school in the fall of 2019," he said.

Expected blasting schedule

Kincaid said blasting of ledge would continue up to three times a week for four more weeks. He said crews are scheduled to start putting in the building’s foundation around Sept. 18.

Kincaid and a representative from Skanska Building USA, Minuteman’s project manager, gave a brief PowerPoint presentation and answered questions from a handful of residential homeowners and the head of the Minute Man National Historical Park.

Minuteman High School drawing, main front entrance Conceptual drawing provided by Minuteman shows the front entrance.

Skanska Building USA is also the project manager for the plan to revamp Arlington High School. 

They updated neighbors on clearing of the site, blasting of ledge, crushing of rock, excavation of dirt, efforts to minimize dust and the relocation of a massive 130-ton boulder to the west end of the property.

They answered questions on a wide range of topics, including how noise levels are being monitored, construction of an emergency access driveway, and the fate of wildlife, such as deer and turkeys.

The neighbors weren’t particularly pleased with the blasting -- including an especially large blast that occurred that very morning -- but they complimented the Minuteman administration for communicating with them about the blasting schedule. They also complimented construction crews for not starting work before 7 a.m.

Superintendent Edward Bouquillon said the next meeting would be scheduled for late September. At that time, he hoped neighbors would be able to take a walk around the site.

Next meeting late September

The Aug. 22 meeting was the second of at least three scheduled by the school administration.

The new school is being built on district-owned property in Lincoln, just a few hundred yards away from the existing school in Lexington.

The new Minuteman High School is designed for 628 students who will spend their Minuteman "careers" in one of two Career Academies: a Life Sciences and Services Academy and an Engineering, Construction & Trades Academy. The new school will include 16 career and technical education programs, including two new ones: Advanced Manufacturing and Multi-Media Engineering (Technical Theatre).

The Massachusetts School Building Authority is investing more than $44 million in the project.

Gilbane Building Co is the construction manager for the project, and Kaestle Boos Associates is the architect.

Minuteman is an award-winning regional high school that integrates robust academic and career & technical learning to deliver a revolutionary competitive advantage. The school serves a diverse student body with multiple learning styles, expanding opportunities for college and career success. 

The Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District includes 10 member towns: Acton, Arlington, Belmont, Bolton, Concord, Dover, Lancaster, Lexington, Needham and Stow.

June 14, 2017: State, local officials break ground for new Minuteman High

This news announcement was published Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, and updated Sept. 20.