Can the state help with Andover’s school facility needs? Has Andover sought this assistance?

Yes, Andover can ask the state for assistance through the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) program.[6] Acceptance to the MSBA core program is highly competitive, with only 18 percent of submissions accepted in 2017 (15 of 83). However, partnership with the MSBA can result in significant financial assistance for design and construction, in the range of 40 percent of eligible costs.

The first step to potential partnership is the submission of a Statement of Interest (SOI) to the MSBA. Each year, districts are invited to submit SOIs in April, and acceptance or denial is usually announced by December. The SOI outlines the problem(s) related to a specific school building—such as over-capacity enrollment or facility condition—but does not propose a preferred solution. Decisions about facility renovation versus reconstruction are determined through a later “feasibility study” as part of the MSBA process.

An SOI [7] for West Elementary was submitted to the MSBA in April 2017, outlining significant facility concerns. The school was accepted into the MSBA program in December 2017. In May 2018, Andover Town Meeting approved funding for the West Elementary feasibility study, which is being led by the West Elementary School Building Committee. [8]

An SOI [9] for AHS was submitted to the MSBA in the spring of 2018 and we expect to learn in December whether this site is accepted into the program.

[6] For more information about the MSBA process, visit their website:

[7] The SOI submitted for West Elementary can be found here:

[8] The West Elementary School Building Committee website can be found on the Town of Andover website:

[9] The Statement of Interest for AHS submitted to the MSBA can be found at:

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1. What has the Andover High School Facility Study Committee been doing? Are there any significant findings from the Andover High School feasibility study?
2. What are the major deficiencies of the Andover High School facility? What current educational standards are not being met?
3. Why is the temperature within Andover High often uncomfortable in winter and summer? What are the major contributing factors?
4. What future enrollment projections is the School Committee using or planning to use to ensure the High School project meets projected future needs?
5. Didn’t Andover recently renovate the high school?
6. Can the state help with Andover’s school facility needs? Has Andover sought this assistance?
7. Why did the district decide to ask for MSBA help for Andover High in April 2018?
8. What are the primary options being considered for Andover High construction?
9. What are the factors to consider in the decision between an addition plus renovation versus new construction?
10. Is “do nothing” an option being considered for Andover High?
11. How can a renovated or new facility provide a better and more current instructional program for students?
12. Why will the MSBA decision in December be a critical milestone for the Andover High project?
13. When will improvements to Andover High begin? When will improvements be complete?
14. Which other Massachusetts communities have undertaken major projects to improve their high schools?
15. Why are multiple schools being considered for renovation or reconstruction at the same time?
16. Why did the district ask the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for help with West Elementary, rather than Andover High, in April 2017?
17. What are the pros and cons of participating in the MSBA program and of building without MSBA partnership?
18. What paths are being taken to address both AHS and West Elementary?
19. When will improvements to West Elementary begin? When will improvements be complete?
20. How are Andover buildings being maintained?
21. Will Andover High continue to be maintained while we are going through this process?
22. How does the town pay for facility construction projects?
23. What is Andover’s track record for past school construction being on or under budget?
24. What is the potential impact of school construction projects on my taxes?
25. I have no children who attend Andover Public Schools. How will this project benefit me and the community?
26. Are any other high-priority school facilities being considered for improvement?
27. What public input has occurred to date? How can the public be engaged in this process?
28. Who will make the decision about which building project(s) to pursue?
29. How accurate are the cost estimates?