The Herald News, Thursday, October 12, 2017 – Page B1
Herald News Staff
Fall River — The group planning the new B.M.C. Durfee High School will continue to hear suggestions from the public, while providing the latest update on the project, at a forum scheduled for tonight.
The School Building Committee will host a public forum from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
in the Durfee auditorium.
During the forum, members of the Building Committee, Fall River School Department, and staff from the architectural firm Ai3 and project managers LeftField will discuss projected costs, how the project will support the education plan for the new school and update the schedule for the project. They expect to have on hand proposed schematics and designs for the building, which will be located along Elsbree Street.
“The design reflects the many opinions and concerns expressed,” said a statement from Ken Pacheco, chief operating officer for the Fall River Public Schools and co-chairman of the School Building Committee.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that is both timely and necessary. It addresses the chronic problems in the current design and gives our kids a learning environment that will better prepare them for their future.”
In August, school leaders said the new school is estimated to cost $240 million.
Among the details of the new school, which would be located on the current Durfee’s Elsbree Street campus, it would consist of brick and glass and include a clocktower in the front. The building would evoke the old Durfee’s 19th century campus on Rock Street while incorporating modern technology and school design
principles. Exactly how much the city and taxpayers would be on the hook for the new Durfee remains to be seen.
The city is eligible for a reimbursement from the state for up to 80 percent of the total project, but the actual percentage will likely be lower because of restrictions and limits the state places on some expenses, officials said.
Tonight’s forum is intended to give participants a look at how previous suggestions will be incorporated into the school, including the Durfee Bells, which were added in recent years. The presentation is also expected to “include drawings of both inside and outside, as well as explain how the design will address issues both big and small in school culture and curriculum,” according to a statement.