Committee Members Wanted for Amherst Elementary School and Jones Library Projects

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AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The town of Amherst is looking for residents to join the councils to help plan the rehabilitation of Jones Library and the new elementary school.

Residents interested in being appointed to a board of directors, commission committee can apply at: AmherstMa.gov.

The elementary school construction project centers on the current state of Fort River Elementary School, part of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District. The project will combine the communities of Fort River and Wildwood in a new K-5 building.

The elementary school building committee will oversee the building project by working with consultants to develop the required plans and submit plans to the Massachusetts School Building Authority. The 13-member committee includes the following people:

  • city ​​manager
  • city ​​chief financial officer
  • superintendent of schools
  • Directors of Fort River and Wildwood
  • Responsible for the maintenance of school buildings
  • Member of the school committee
  • Two city councilors
  • Three residents

Members interested in joining the committee should attend meetings 1-2 times per month. An educational vision workshop is scheduled for Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The public community forum to summarize the project is scheduled for February 3 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Residents voted in favor of a renovation project at Jones Library. Just under $14 million was awarded through a state MBLC grant. Approximately $6.5 million comes from the trustee commitment. The city will now fund the remaining $15.8 million. The library was built in 1928.

The Jones Library Building Committee is responsible for developing a schedule, milestones and plans for the project and recommending a specific set of plans to the Library Board and City Manager for approval.

Committee members will:

  • Understand the MBLC grant program requirements.
  • Learn about the history and background of the Jones Library restoration and expansion project.
  • Identify a wide variety of stakeholders to develop and execute multiple communication methods to engage community members throughout the design and construction process.
  • Form sub-committees at different stages of the project such as:
    • Design – visits site, attends site meetings and monitors schedule
    • Interior design – chooses styles, colors and furnishings
    • Landscaping – chooses plantings and outdoor structures
    • Public Relations – keeps the community informed
    • Inauguration/Grand Opening – organizes community celebrations
  • Review, evaluate and approve all project invoices and change orders.
  • Oversee the MBLC grant application and award process, including tracking progress toward milestones and securing grant payments.
  • Support the closing process with the MBLC to ensure the building is constructed to the approved design.
  • The City is looking for a resident with experience in effective community outreach
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