$39 million question to go before Wareham voters during November election

Selectmen approve ballot question for new school
By Meghan Neely | Jul 17, 2018
Photo by: Meghan Neely Wareham Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Shaver-Hood hands out a draft of the ballot item to Selectmen.

Wareham Selectmen approved a ballot question on Tuesday, July 17, which would provide funding for a new elementary school if passed by voters on Nov. 6. The new school is needed to replace both Minot Forest and Decas Elementary.

The question is a Proposition 2 1/2 exemption, which would allow the town to raise the state-imposed annual property tax ceiling, first imposed in 1982 to curb spending by cities and towns.

The question approved unanimously by Selectmen Tuesday night reads as follows:

"Shall the Town of Wareham be allowed to exempt from the provision of Proposition two-and-one-half, so called, the amount required to pay for the bonds issued in order to construct a new Pre-K through 4th Grade Elementary School on the existing Minot Forest School site, including the payment of all costs incidental or related thereto?"

The two schools are beset with structural problems and require significant upgrades for security, electrical wiring and fire safety. Additional classroom space, new windows, boilers, floors and ceilings are needed as well.

The $90 million plan for the new school was approved back in June by the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s board of directors. The board is set to reimburse Wareham approximately 75 percent of the school's construction at $56 million.

The town will have to pay approximately $39 million.

Selectman Patrick Tropeano praised the hard work of the School Building Committee during the meeting, noting that Selectmen should make a public document listing the project's savings.

"It's a lot of money," Tropeano said. "But when you see what it could have been, you realize this board has been doing a lot of hard work."

Tropeano also encouraged residents to contact Selectmen and the School Building Committee with questions directly.

"We want you to have the facts," Tropeano said. "I'll be more than happy to pick up the phone. If I can't give you an answer, I'll find someone who can."

"The town and the school aren't against each other in any way," added Selectman Alan Slavin. "This school is Wareham's future. We need people to remember that."

Comments (59)
Posted by: Peaches0409 | Jul 18, 2018 08:12

Thank you for supporting this! The cost to make the necessary repairs to both Decas and Minot would be greater than the 39 million needed to build this new school.

Alan Slavin is 100% correct! These children are our future. Let's give them the best start we can!

Posted by: WWareham resident | Jul 18, 2018 08:50

$90 million to build a school?

Am I the only one who thinks that is ridiculous? Even the $39 million the tax payers would pay is crazy.

I'd like to know exactly why the cost is so high? Future or not, building the Taj Mahal in Wareham isn't going to change the fact that the school system in Wareham is undesirable for any family looking to relocate. You can see that in our home prices which still haven't come back to even close to the cost from 2005-2006.

Its a huge NO vote for me.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 18, 2018 09:18

WWareham- you are not the only one.  There have been several articles and countless comments on the new school. Both the developer and some of the more credible commenters have had dialogue about the cost.  $90 Million blew me away at first.  But after factoring in the grant and benefits of a new school, it does boil down to a more palatable $39 million cost.  Still no joke, but a lot less than 90 million.

Posted by: shop247 | Jul 18, 2018 10:36

What I'm hearing is, the town failed to maintain these structures (seems to be a pattern).  So they want me to pay more taxes to build a new school, and I'm supposed to trust that that they will properly utilize my tax dollars to maintain these structures?  I'm supposed to trust that in another 40 years or so, if/when they've failed to maintain these new schools, they'll want pass along another failure, and raise my grandchildren's taxes to build yet another school?  Sorry, NO NEW TAXES!

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jul 18, 2018 10:59

WWR, you are correct in calling it a Taj Mahal. That's what they plan on building. There is no need for the excessiveness of this project. It is a known fact the that the School department is incapable of caring for their buildings. Why would we give them another 89 million dollar building to let rot. Fix what we have or build a new space metal building and partition it off into classrooms. No vote from me and from everyone I have discussed this with.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 18, 2018 12:09

Only if they fire the superintendent first.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 18, 2018 12:24

None of this matters if we don't recruit and retain the best teachers and administrators. That costs money and requires a supportive superintendent who doesn't apply for a new job regularly and only stays because she does not get one. You could put all the kids back in the Hammond School, which is used every single day, with the right teachers and administrators and they would flourish.

Posted by: shop247 | Jul 18, 2018 12:36

Wait a minute, What school did they go to?  $56M + $39M = $95M, already trying to bamboozle the people?  AND if we add in cost overruns, we're over $100M?  AND, we're on the hook for almost 50% of the cost?  Again... NO NEW TAXES

Metal buildings might bring down the cost but we still have to put our trust and faith into believing in the school town administration.

I feel like we're starting to regress to the "Sauvageau Days"  when special interests and the BOS were one and the same and tax payer dollars were spent without any regard for the taxpayer.

Posted by: cranky pants | Jul 18, 2018 13:13

I'm thankful that I'm not the only one that sees through the glitter, smoke and mirrors.

No new Kool-Aid.

Posted by: WESProjInfo | Jul 18, 2018 14:02

With all due respect, the proposed school could not be further from a "Taj Mahal."  The building includes space and program as necessary to satisfy the district's educational program and thereby secure funding through the State's School Building Authority.


If you don't believe me, take a look for yourself at the MSBA's School Construction Cost Data here: http://info.massschoolbuildings.org/TabPub/TableauCostData.aspx and take note of where Wareham's proposed project falls compared to all other schools in MA.  Hover over the lowest cost "+" on the far right side of the graph, that is Wareham's proposed project, look where it stands in comparison to the others.


Regarding the district's share:  Budget at feasibility study is $90.3M, of that, $67.5M of known project costs are eligible for reimbursement, and an additional $1.3M of contingency may be eligible for reimbursement.  The 74.98% reimbursement rate only applies to ELIGIBLE costs, hence the projected district share of $39.5M. 


If you wish to see the breakdown of the reimbursement calculation, visit here:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/gz0g0mb46caq0d9/3.3.3%203Ia%20Total%20Budget%20-%20Form%203011%20Test%20Fit%20Preferred%20Solution.pdf?dl=0.


If you have specific questions about reimbursement eligibility and MSBA policy, I recommend you attend the next School Building Committee on July 30th at 5:30PM in the Multiservice Center to ask those questions (and receive answers) in person.


Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jul 18, 2018 14:34

Taj Mahal Taj Mahal Taj Mahal. If it wasn't it wouldnt be 90 frikkin million

Posted by: WESProjInfo | Jul 18, 2018 14:47

SPHERE - If you could kindly provide even one example of project scope which is above and beyond what is absolutely necessary, I am certain the Building Committee would be more than happy to discuss at their next meeting. 


Without an informed question or argument, I cannot provide you with an informed answer or response.


Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jul 18, 2018 22:17

Scope, ill give you scope. How can say its just nessasary when can you buy the land for AND build 300 brand new 3 bedroom homes for the same as your 90 million dollar Taj Mahal School. Every kid could have their own room with only 3 kids per home. Don’t tell me its nessasary stuff. I don’t buy the BS for a minute. These homes would last longer than 50 years too. Wareham school department is trying to out do the next Town and you lead them by the nose into doing it. You have no care, its not your taxes that are going up for no reason.

Posted by: thkng60@yahoo.com | Jul 19, 2018 05:55



Posted by: WWareham resident | Jul 19, 2018 07:41

It seems to me that WESPRO has something to gain here since they are the only one who is for this ridiculous building.

WESPRO we're also not saying the building looks like the Taj Mahal but at that cost it should. No way in hell should we have to foot the bill as taxpayers especially since our taxes are high  at least mine are, for absolutely no services except an occasional snow plow. My property taxes are well North of $5,500 and I'm on 3/4 acre with a basic Colonial. For the amount of taxes we pay and don't have children going to Wareham schools, thank God, asking us to pay for this monstrosity is just wrong. It's a pattern with the current leadership that they need to have what Marion, Rochester, Brookline  Needham and other higher per capita income have. NO YOU'RE NOT GETTING IT. ...


Just stop already. First its the showplace firehouse wanted in Onset now this? The only over the top building I might support is a new Police Station, they deserve it.


ONSETTOGETHER said it perfectly  without the right teachers, admin and superintendent, even a billion dollar school isn't going to attract families to Wareham.Quite the opposite if they start to Google Wareham and see the  shenanigans that the Selectmenpull......

I really can't wait to see the outcome of voting on this. I have a feeling that more taxpaying homeowners are going show up than ever before.

Proof that it's the Taj Mahal is  in the proposed cost.

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Jul 19, 2018 07:57

THKNG60, the middle school build was on time and under budget. Maybe you should get some facts together before posting.

ONSETTOGETHER, are you saying we don't have the right teachers? Do you have kids in school? We have many amazing educators so your statement is just plain ignorant! Not surprised coming from someone who does nothing but stir the pot.

WWAREHAMRESIDENT,  I'm calling a big load of crap on your $5500 taxes. Why don't you tell the truth about what you pay? Is your house valued at half a million? I'm guessing NOT! I'm guessing you are the same person on Facebook who lies about taxes too.

You people spread nothing but lies and nonsese.

Posted by: desertsky | Jul 19, 2018 07:59

Drove by the Decas school and all winter the soccer goals were sitting out in the field...no storage?? Who leaves all their gear sitting outside all winter..the schools do! Not to worry..the voters will approve all new stuff when this stuff rots apart. Enough already...NO NEW SCHOOL. Let's try trimming the FAT ..let's hope those of us who are fed up will show up at the polls and vote NO.



Posted by: desertsky | Jul 19, 2018 08:06

I can vouch for the taxes up over $5000.. yup..that's us over here in West Wareham...and no, my house is not worth $500k. No I don't have trash pickup, no kids in the schools,no waterfront property (or even close) no freebie benefits from anyplace and no relief in sight. If anyone thinks you have to own a half million dollar house for taxes to be up over $5k, think again.

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Jul 19, 2018 08:06

Um, first of all the schools have zero to do with those soccer nets. Secondly, they play pick up soccer every Sunday morning until there is snow on the ground. Again......don't let the facts get in the way of your posting.

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Jul 19, 2018 08:09

Lol.....do the math desertsky. Taxes are 11.28 per thousand for real estate. A half million dollar home would be $5600 in taxes. Please straighten me out if my math is wrong. (p.s. it's not)

Posted by: gottahaveit | Jul 19, 2018 08:21

Peaches0409, couldn’t agree more.  Although my children are out of school now I believe that all Wareham children should be given a beautiful new school.  This on many levels will instill pride in these young children that could last a life time.

I know the Wareham school system is not perfect as my kids attended the schools here that were leaking and literally falling apart. We need to stand behind the school system as parents and as a whole town to help fix the challenges these schools face.

Has anyone ever thought to get the opinions of the children that attend the delapated buildings? Have you asked your children what they think?  They don’t have pride in the school and that my friends is a huge problem.  I know from personal experience that children don’t feel like they matter when the are stuffed in a make shift classroom that has rodents in it. (Minot before they took down the addition).

My one question is, if this new school is going to replace Minot and Decas, what happens to the closed school buildings?  That should be incorporated into this vote somehow.  I will vote for the new school as long as there is a plan to utilize the other three closed schools.

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Jul 19, 2018 08:27

WESPROJINFO, Can you please provide a figure as the what the impact will be on the tax rate? How much per thousand will the tax rate increase? This has been asked many times and to my knowledge never answered.

Posted by: WWareham resident | Jul 19, 2018 09:22



Posted by: WWareham resident | Jul 19, 2018 09:25

To add to my reply to peach pit, I have nothing to gain by lying and I paid half a million for my house which still is not back to close to that value. Again, get your facts straight before you accuse anyone of lying you POS.

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Jul 19, 2018 09:29

^  This one.....keep it classy.

Wwresident, I didn't ask what you paid. I asked what it's valued at. Two completely different things. It's not the fault of the town if you are upside down on your house.

Posted by: shop247 | Jul 19, 2018 10:11


I think Gottahaveit make many peoples point.

I know the Wareham school system is not perfect as my kids attended the schools here that were leaking and literally falling apart.

Has anyone ever thought to get the opinions of the children that attend the delapated buildings?

The town allowed the children in buildings that were in disrepair.  The town (that we want to give more money via override) did nothing.  The town allowed these buildings to fall apart.  The town now wants money to fix a problem of their creating, their mismanagement...  how does anyone trust that this new building will be treated any differently?  My guess is, it won't.  It'll be new, so it won't require repairs until it does.  And then what?  They'll ask for more money?  That's their answer to everything.  They don't actually fix the problems that created the issues, they just want to throw money at it.

AND lets not forget the water treatment plant we have to pay for...

Maybe they should look at how other, similar towns utilize their tax dollars.



Posted by: WWareham resident | Jul 19, 2018 10:13

No it's not two completely different things when it's new construction. your house is assessed at the sale value so why don't you do some research before you start spouting off. you really have no idea what you're talking about but you seem to throw around your distorted view.


And when someone says I'm lying I have a right to defend myself. Especially against someone who really doesn't know what they're talking about but seems to think they do. everything that you say is true right, you're probably a liberal.

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Jul 19, 2018 10:19

My house was new construction. It is not valued at what I paid for it. Not even close. Never is.....

Posted by: WWareham resident | Jul 19, 2018 19:00

Peaches I just got back home and I apologize  my taxes are actually $5,608

I only have the tax bill handy and it's $1,402.01 per quarter. Tell me again how there's no way my taxes are over $5,500?



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 19, 2018 20:11

Peaches - regarding the tax rate, yes it's technically $11.28 per thousand of evaluation, but don't forget the fire districts also have a per thousand of evaluation fee which is added to the $11.28 per thousand to create a total per thousand of evaluation amount. Once collected by the town, the fire districts' portion of the tax bill is then paid to the districts by the town. The Wareham Fire District fee adds $2.35 per one thousand of evaluation to the tax bills of those who live in the Wareham Fire District. The Onset Fire District adds $2.76 per one thousand of evaluation to the tax bills of those who live in the Onset Fire District. Also there is a CPA tax added based upon a 3 percent rate.

Posted by: WWareham resident | Jul 19, 2018 20:54

Exactly Andrea, thank you posting that.


It is interesting why the assessed value isn't listed on the quarterly tax bill.

Posted by: cranky pants | Jul 20, 2018 07:21

This crap is actually getting humorous. You want what's best for the students ? How about upping your game with better teachers and a more regiment curriculum.

You could have the best school with all the bells and whistles... If the teachers don't have the proper tools knowledge or resources then it's all for nothing.

It don't matter if you're teaching in a tent or the Taj Mahal, if your program sucks... It still sucks.


Posted by: WESProjInfo | Jul 20, 2018 09:18

PEACHES - the estimated tax impact can be found here: http://newschool.warehamps.org/faq/


WWAREHAM - wrong again, I personally have been some combination of student/resident/taxpayer in Wareham each and every year since the 1980's, still pay Wareham taxes now and will continue to pay them for the foreseeable future.  I was a student at Minot, graduate of WHS and have a personal interest in seeing both the Wareham community and School systems succeed.  If you bought in 2005 and are still upside down, I'm even more baffled that you would not support this to bring your property value up to par with neighboring communities, who have all met and/or exceeded their 2005 values.


All I ask is for those of you who are vehemently opposed to this project; the next time you are on Minot Ave, pull into the school, drive around the building, walk around the site.  Then ask yourself, if you were looking for new community for your family to call home, would you reconsider Wareham as an option?  Maybe then you will begin to understand why Wareham home values are still below 2005 levels, while neighboring communities have long since surpassed them.

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Jul 20, 2018 09:35

Andrea, I understand my tax bill. The CPA and Fire district fees have nothing to do with the towns general fund. Those complaining about high taxes and no services need to understand that.


Wesprojinfo, thank you!

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Jul 20, 2018 09:39

WWarehamresident, that is the total. How much is your CPA and Fire District?  Those both have nothing to do with the Town of Wareham general fund.


Posted by: Steve Holmes | Jul 20, 2018 10:07

The Selectman basically gave to approve the town meeting articles for them to be on the warrant. Unless there is a legal issue or the article is somehow defective. They will vote at a future meeting whether or not the BOS recommend passage.

As I read this, they are proposing a debt exclusion which means your taxes will go up until the loan is paid. Unless I missed it I dont think that figured has been published.

My question (still unanswered) is what is the plan of the voters reject this on the ballot? I am pretty sure it will pass a stacked town meeting. (Andrea that was for you LOL) We certainly have seen our share of those, then after the vote the auditorium will empty out.

I have a young person on Wareham High School and have recently met many of his friends at a ballgame. I can tell you their comments about the school, teachers, and especially Scott Paladino, do not reflect the comments we read.

These kids really like their teachers, they love Scott, and they showed pride in attending our High School.

I have a pretty good feeling this is not going to pass a ballot vote in November. My reason is once again the electorate will vote no based solely on the tax issue. As we have seen over the past few years the Districts and others have really dug into our pockets.

The no vote would not be against education but I think it will be because folks just dont have the money to pay. Many are struggling just to stay in their homes.

Too bad there is not a way to take ALL these capital items and list them in priority as a TOWN. These projects are good, and worthy of our support. But when they can all be approved at different meetings at the same time folks just dont have the money to pay for them all at once

Posted by: WESProjInfo | Jul 20, 2018 11:10

Hi Steve - the final figure will not be known until completion of schematic design estimates (early-Oct).  If the project fails to pass at the Nov 6th ballot then the Town must decide whether to try again or throw in the towel.  If a second attempt were to be made, there is a 120-day window from the MSBA's December 12th Board meeting in which the Town must secure funding, although that would also be contingent upon MSBA approval of a project which had just recently failed to secure funding, a challenge in and of itself.


If Wareham fails to fund the project it will be removed from the MSBA's capital pipeline and any future MSBA opportunity would include a stipulation that the district fully fund the second Feasibility study on its own.  The current Feasibility study budget is $1M, with the state picking up 71.48% of the tab (increased to 74.98% if the project moves forward).  Also worth noting that the Feasibility study is currently +13% under budget, further indication that the Committee is doing (and will continue to do) everything possible to keep costs down.

Posted by: WWareham resident | Jul 20, 2018 11:31

Peaches, so you are one of those people who just won't admit you were wrong, figures. My tax bill is my tax bill and I commented I am paying NORTH of $5,500 and you, in a public forum, called me a Liar, which couldn't be further from the truth and I take offense to that. Like it or not my comment was correct, I am paying $5,608 in total, how it's broken down is not what my comment stated it was the total of the payments I make to the Town of Wareham for my property taxes. You're a "know it all" and it's obvious you were wrong, I know it and so do others but you are going to try to continue your false narrative just because you won't apologize for calling someone that you have no clue who I am, a liar. Do that to my face and there would have been a very different outcome, I promise you that.

You started the attack and now won't admit you were wrong so I am done trying to reason with someone who was educated in Wareham, proof to many of the comments above that our schools are sub par at best. You can kid yourself thinking that the total you pay in property taxes is only the amount excluding the Fire and CPA but you know what? It's on OUR TAX bills so it's considered total property taxes.

With our water rates supposedly jumping 36 or 37% I believe was the last figure I heard, I am not for adding to any costs, period.

Posted by: WWareham resident | Jul 20, 2018 11:38

Q: What is the current estimated tax impact for the average single family home, and when will a final number be available?


A: The tax impact will be calculated after receipt of schematic estimates in late September. The following very, very, preliminary figures are right out of the Preferred Schematic Report Submission: “The local share of debt service is planned to be allocated via debt exclusion if supported by the Town of Wareham during the November 2018 state election ballot.  A total project budget of $90.3M in alternative MF-2B.3 results in an anticipated district share of $39.5M, which translates to approximately $0.66 – $0.81 of additional tax burden per $1,000 of valuation, or roughly $170 – $210 annual for the average single family home, depending on the length of bond (20-30 year) and subject to fluctuation with market conditions.” The average single family home in Wareham for FY2018 was assessed at $258,143.

So at the very very preliminary rate, which we all know is going to double at least, would put my total taxes over $6,000.

Housing prices aside, no one is going to bring a family in to Wareham, even with a fancy Taj Mahal school, to pay over $6,000 in taxes and still get ZERO services, nadda, nothing....

Posted by: WESProjInfo | Jul 20, 2018 12:12

WWAREHAM - taxes on your exact house would be well north of $6,000 (likely $7K? $8K?) just a hop, skip and jump away over the Rochester or Carver line where all schools have been recently upgraded and are well funded, would they not? 

As of right now, there are 22 single family homes currently listed on the MLS in Rochester, and 152 single family homes listed in Wareham.  Wareham has 4x the population yet 7x the homes for sale, many of those having been on the market for quite some time. 

Supply and demand is Economics 101, a house listed in Rochester or Carver, even with their much higher taxes, seems to sell immediately.  Therefore I must respectfully disagree with your statement that good schools and a communities' desirability are unrelated.

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 20, 2018 12:16

Peaches - Thanks for your response. My guess is that unless or until the town requires that each tax bill be paid with three separate payments (3 separate checks or 3 separate charge card transactions...one for real estate taxes, one for Fire District Fees and one for CPA) the vast majority of property owners will consider the tax bill they receive to be their "total tax bill."


Also, many of Wareham's property tax payers, currently own, or have owned in the past, homes in other  Massachusetts towns, the majority of which include their Water Districts and Fire Districts under the umbrella of town government, and thus factor them into town budgets to create total tax bills. It's understandable that these people would consider a real estate tax bill into which those fees were incorporated as their total tax bill.


My guess is that more than a few people who weighed the benefits of moving/retiring to Wareham included in their financial planning the comparatively low tax rate, without realizing that the quoted tax rate did not include Fire and Water District fees, and that because Fire and Water Districts do not fall under the umbrella of town government, the amount that they raise fees is not limited by Proposition 2 1/2.



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jul 20, 2018 12:29

Fire and Water Taxes are just that ,Taxes. They are taxes for services that are part of Town government. I should say part of services of town government in normal towns. Our system is something only melon heads could think is good or acceptable

Posted by: Doctor Deekas | Jul 20, 2018 13:01

WESPROJ you should be ashamed of your pitchfork-toting. You say you went to school here and pay property taxes here, yet, you stand to make a large State-project-percentage based fee if this gets to construction. You are part of the design team....Let the School Building Committee wave the banners and inform the voters why we should add 10% or more, for 30 years, to our tax bills. I don't want to know why the design team, that will make a few million bucks, thinks it's a great project!!

Posted by: WESProjInfo | Jul 20, 2018 13:15

DOCTOR - My role in all of this is to merely provide accurate information in a forum where there seems to be an abundance of misinformation.  Beyond that I have no interest in entertaining personal attacks, which unfortunately there also seems to be an abundance of.

Posted by: WWareham resident | Jul 20, 2018 14:27

WESPRO your comment contradicts itself.

I do not know what the tax rates are in Rochester,  Carver, Marion etc. But I am not against paying higher taxes if there are services provided for those taxes. Before we moved here I was paying over $6,500 in 2005. It was a different state but the town has what is known in NJ as Blue Ribbon Schools and we had so many additional services it made it totally worth paying extra rather than live a town over for lower taxes.

The issue I think you are dismissing is that building this $90,000,000 school isn't going to instantly make Wareham a desirable town for a family to move too. Do you want to know why?

IMHO Wareham has bigger problems than just the schools. It seems mismanagement and town leaders who spend our tax dollars like a drunken sailor. The stigma of Wareham being called "Brockton by the sea" is very real and thankfully Chief Walcek is working hard on that front but they have a crap load of it to deal with. The lack of any town provided services, Town water that's highly overpriced and going up over 35% all while it is barely fit for human consumption. Those are some of the main issues right now.

My original comment after your first seems to have been accurate. You're in a position to profit from this going through so again, IMHO, I don't put any credibility on to your comments. Being part of the design team is a conflict of interest in this debate.

We don't have children and had enough money to put down a big chunk down on this house when we purchased in 2005 and I'm far from under water on my mortgage. With our current deflated home pricing but It wouldn't be too much to want to, at least break even selling this house? Would a new shiny overpriced school accomplish that? NO it wouldn't.

You mentioned good schools and community are related and I would agree with you on that but building this monstrosity doesn't automatically give Wareham good schools, it gives Wareham a huge cost to be absorbed by the taxpayers. Would you agree with that? Our community has been invaded by way to much 40B housing, which like it or not, right or wrong, that comes with a stigma attached as well. Families don't want their children in schools that are sub part at best and I believe  have a pretty high % of children from the 40B housing units/complexes. Once again  right or wrong it's how people think WESPRO it's just the reality, unfortunately


I wish the children in town had good schools to attend but if we had children, we would have never moved to Wareham in the first place. The only reason we did was housing prices being lower than Lakeville and being closer to a marina.

Listen  I went on the defensive once uninformed peaches called me a liar and still hasn't and probably won't even acknowledge the fact that many homeowners, the majority I would think, don't break out line items on their tax bill and think they are only paying that much. It's about the total cost of taxes that are paid out.

Sorry if you can't see the other side of the coin  This schoolis overpricedand needs to be voted down.


I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Posted by: WESProjInfo | Jul 20, 2018 16:00

WWAREHAM - I wholly understand and agree with many of your points above.  I also understand not everybody has time to attend the public building committee meetings, but I do believe that you would feel differently about the proposed project if you were to attend.


Wareham's proposed building is about as cost conscious as you can get, but it is still a public, prevailing wage, non-combustible building, equipped with the necessary life safety systems and technology to prepare students for the changing world around them. 


The Committee will continue to drive costs downward to the maximum extent possible, the proposed design is lean, economical and durable.  The SBC's efforts thus far are apparent when viewing it in comparison to the MSBA's school cost data.  It is a tall order, but all involved understand that it is also a necessary one.

Posted by: WWareham resident | Jul 20, 2018 17:57

WESPRO I would so much like to agree but I just cannot see a school. costing $90,000,000. that is ludicrous. Damn you can get a 20 story building in Manhattan for that much money and right now it is unfortunately about the money.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jul 20, 2018 22:09

I challenge the town leaders to advertise our want of a Charter School in Wareham. The School must be located at the Minot School location. I bet you would have many willing to answer that opportunity.  They have their choice to build new or remodel I will garantee that they come in and fix the existing school and make it a successful venture and provide a better education. They would never consider paying 90 million for a new school or have a need to

Posted by: Tesnobay | Jul 20, 2018 23:02


"Regarding the district's share:  Budget at feasibility study is $90.3M, of that, $67.5M of known project costs are eligible for reimbursement, and an additional $1.3M of contingency may be eligible for reimbursement.  The 74.98% reimbursement rate only applies to ELIGIBLE costs, hence the projected district share of $39.5M"

The way I read this is that $67.5 + $1.3 Mil =$68.8 mil that MAY be eligible for reimbursement @ 74.98%.

My math says that is $51,586.20 Mil, not $39.5 Mil.


What am I missing?

Posted by: Duffman | Jul 21, 2018 00:12

I will not vote for this school under any circumstance. This town has steak taste with dollar menu budget. I don't like how the town tried to strong arm us into building a new school by closing Minot before the new school was approved. Why not keep it open for night school? Then it functions as a school and would not need to be brought up to code if it needed to be reopened. WestProjInfo if you think that a new school will bring up property value I have some magic beans to sell you. I will make my voice heard and encourage others to do so: Vote No.

Posted by: WESProjInfo | Jul 21, 2018 06:31

TESNO - you have it correct, that is the forecast MSBA grant amount before factoring in a pro-rated adjustment of ~$700k for their repair contributions to the Decas roof a few years back (pro-rated over 20 years). $90.3M budget - $50.8M grant = $39.5M target district share.


SPHERE - Charter schools would not touch that old building, they'd be putting up cubicle walls inside of Benny's instead. They are not held to MSBA/DESE standards for items like programming (no gym, music, art, library, outdoor recreation, etc), acoustics, classroom sizes, or most importantly, special education. Special education is a huge cost driver in these buildings, the State average is 8% of student population whereas Wareham is around 25% special needs.


We are currently carrying $450/sf for building and site, which is on the low end for a public school in this market. A school in downtown Boston runs $650/sf for the building alone. A new charter school could probably be built for around $350/sf but would have no grant opportunity from the MSBA.  The Middleboro school recently approved is $509/sf and a year ahead of Wareham's project in a market that is escalating around 6% annually.


Wareham's $90M pricetag isn't driven be extravagance, it's a large 159,100SF building for 1100 young students. The appropriate building size is something determined by the MSBA space summary template. The best way to keep costs down for Wareham taxpayers is to follow MSBA guidelines in order to minimize costs which are ineligible for reimbursement, and that is exactly what the Committee is working hard to accomplish.

Posted by: cranky pants | Jul 21, 2018 07:58

Anyone else getting the feeling that it doesn't matter what the taxpayers and voters want, this new school is coming like it or not ?

I wouldn't be surprised if they had the shaver-hood nameplate made for above the main entry doors already.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 21, 2018 13:07

WESPROJINFO posting anonymously doesn't give your data any credibility.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 21, 2018 13:12

And WESPROJINFO, there is much, much more to why a family with children passed by Wareham.

Posted by: WantToSeeChange | Jul 21, 2018 13:22

Onsettogether, I am guessing since WESPROJINFO has provided excellent answers to every question involving this school since the beginning, he or she is probably quite credible.  I have seen quite a few examples of posts from people who are identified (either by their screen name or by admission) that throw around much much less credible information on here.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Jul 21, 2018 20:15

WEspro, I see bus loads of special needs kids bussed to locations other than Minot , bus loads. Are you saying that in addition to the bus loads going to special schools we still have 25% special needs kids? If so what is the total special needs kids in Wareham 40 to 50%. If so how can that be? If there are that many, how many are not problem kids that need a belt across their bottoms and actually have special/needs. All Kids should be getting a standard public education. If they cant keep /up they stay back until they get it. As far as the Charter school /only wanting a Benny’s location is doubtful. Wareham grade results would be simple to outdo and they would be itching to cleans Wareham schools clock and have a massive school here. What not up for a challenge? Advertise t and so how many responses come in. I bet quite a few.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 22, 2018 09:40

Peaches it sounds like you are the one "upside down" on your new construction. You clearly do not understand the mechanics of property valuation. There will be a rush to get properties reassesed to get it down, taking out more taxes from the general fund, is my guess. And an increase in senior work-offs.

Oh but my house were over the line in Carver or Rochester with great schools, functioning goverment, a new central fire station and paved roads! Thanks for reminding us about what we do not have.

Andrea, as a reminder the good taxpayers of Onset pay a hefty sum to Wareham to mail out those tax bills, and it's a percentage. As Onset Fire and Water rates go up so does the money we pay to Wareham-whether they send the same or fewer number of bills.

Peaches as you see what comes out of people's pockets matters, not necessarily which fund it winds up in.

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 22, 2018 14:10

Onsettogether - Just in case you missed the irony in a comment you directed to Westprojinfo, your comment, drafted under an anonymous screen name was "posting anonymously doesn't give your data any credibility."



Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 22, 2018 15:03

I never miss a chance for irony, I should have added a wink. I truly have no idea who that person is, but they obviously are not impartial.


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