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Littleton’s Shaker Lane Elementary School invited to MSBA eligibility

Littleton stock photos. Littleton Town Offices. SUN/Julia Malakie
Littleton stock photos. Littleton Town Offices. SUN/Julia Malakie
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LITTLETON  — Shaker Lane Elementary School is over 60 years old, and the building has weathered numerous maintenance issues, according to officials. Littleton Public Schools Superintendent Kelly Clenchy said he considers the building “out-of-date.”

The last time Shaker Lane was renovated was in 1998. But that could change in the near future.

Littleton officials announced Monday that the Massachusetts School Building Authority invited the school district to submit a statement of interest — the first step to receiving financial assistance from the MSBA. Through a statement of interest, the MSBA will determine different areas of need within each school, which can include structural repairs to roofs, ceilings and boilers as well as improvements.

With such support, Shaker Lane could refurbish its facilities and better accommodate its nearly 400 students, Clenchy said.

“This approval is the first step toward designing and building a new, dynamic Shaker Lane that will meet our town’s vision for educational excellence,” he added.

To qualify for funding, Littleton and LPS must form a school building committee, as well as detail its current financial status and conduct a “feasibility study,” according to a press release.

Starting July 1, the district enters a 270-day eligibility period during which it has to meet those requirements to be eligible for assistance.

The district would then move into “the feasibility study phase” of the review process, where the MSBA will then assess the state of the building and need of repair.

Shaker Lane, which serves pre-K through second grade, is one of 17 schools in the state to be considered for such funding this year.

Massachusetts devotes a 1% statewide sales tax to MSBA programs, and since 2004, the MSBA has collected more than $15.6 billion in reimbursements for school district repair projects. The MSBA estimates spending between $397 to $829 million in projects this year, according to its Capital Planning Overview Report published in November.

The MSBA’s mission is to fund “affordable, sustainable and efficient schools” alongside local communities, according to its website.

Littleton School Committee Chairman Matthew Hunt said he is hopeful the project will not only make the necessary improvements to the school, but also unite the town and its residents.

“The prospect of a new Shaker Lane is exciting. This project will once again bring together our town boards, town staffs, and members of our community, working toward a common goal,” Hunt said. “The end result will make our district and community much stronger.”

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