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Burgess project costs on the decline

'Townspeople will pay millions of dollars less'

March 13, 2011
STURBRIDGE — If one looks hard enough, he or she will often observe silver linings attached to even the most negative situations — including an economic recession.

According to the School Building Committee, the poor economy is one of two major reasons why the Burgess Elementary School renovation and construction project will cost millions less than had been originally anticipated.

According to Chairman Angela Cheng-Cimini and Vice Chairman Charles Blanchard, the local cost of the project has decreased by 35 percent ($7,981,345). Due to the recent plight of the economy, general contractors' competitive bids were significantly lower than what was forecasted when voters authorized a bond issue approximately 18 months ago. Another reason was the lower than projected bond interest rate of 3.59 percent, as opposed to the 4.95 percent that was first expected.

As a result of these fortuitous occurrences, the total project cost dropped from $46,926,630, which Sturbridge voters approved, to the current projected cost of $33,149,457. This means the town will likely pay $14,708,804, instead of the initial estimate of $22,690,149. In addition, the Massachusetts School Building Authority's share will move down as well, dropping from $24,236,481 to $18,440,653.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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