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The MSBA ‘Paused’ the Accelerated Repair Program… Now What?

At the November 15th Mass Facilities Administrators’ Association convention, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) Executive Director indicated that the Accelerated Repair Program (ARP)* will be paused indefinitely and is not accepting Statements of Interest in 2023. The several districts that were preparing statements of interest for this program are questioning, now what?


With the current economic climate reflecting a high inflation rate, school districts may find it prudent to proceed with self-funded or alternative methods for completing their roofing, window, and boiler projects. The reactivation date of the ARP is unknown, and even when it is reactivated, districts are not guaranteed invitation. The pause may last several years and waiting long periods for the revival of the program has the significant potential of resulting in excessive future repair and replacement costs. Deferring maintenance for system components can be detrimental to school buildings and to the quality and comfort of the educational programs conducted in them.


There is a bit of a silver lining, though. Districts will have more control over the schedule and cost if they conduct projects themselves. They could also use the ‘down’ time to conduct a district master plan study and determine their long-range educational facility plan with the priority level, and maintenance needs known for each building. All of these types of projects – ARP and Studies – would most efficiently be conducted under a House Doctor** type contract. Regardless the method, we must move forward, we are talking about our kids.


As founder of Habeeb & Associates Architects (H&A), 35-year supporter of the Massachusetts Association of School Business Officials (MASBO), and staunch proponent for the efficient and responsible maintenance of the school buildings in the Commonwealth I would like to offer suggestions on how school districts can prepare to move forward given this news. To discuss your specific needs and explore various options, feel free to contact me at 781-561-9536.

Steven C. Habeeb

Steven C. Habeeb, AIA, LEED AP

President & Principal Architect

shabeeb@habeebarch.com

781-561-9536


*The ARP provides funding for the repair or replacement of roofs, windows and boilers in schools that are otherwise structurally, functionally, and educationally sound.


**House Doctor contracts provide the District with an ‘on-call’ designer that may be utilized on a term basis, generally 3-5 years, for planning, study, and/or renovation and repair design projects. It is considered by the Commonwealth as a way to gain efficiency and timeliness in operations.