Clarifying some Misconceptions about LHS Downtown

1) The Asbestos and Hazardous Materials will affect and endanger the students, teachers and staff’s health Downtown and cost more to eliminate.

NOT TRUE : City Council Meeting May 16th 2017 (BOLD ME)
May CC Meeting Report

The engineer says that there is not an obstacle to construction at either site. There is a range of cost because anything that is there, can be removed, however, they don’t know exactly how much stuff needs to be removed.

The engineer also says that the cost of soil remediation will be cheaper at the downtown site than at Cawley Stadium because there are existing buildings with foundations downtown, so there is less potential soil that would have to be removed and disposed of downtown than at Cawley.

Amar Deeb, a hazmat consultant. Spent a month and a half surveying accessible hazardous materials within the Lowell High building and sent them to independent laboratories. Their report includes the location of the material and the worst case scenario of the cost of removing (this would involve the full destruction of the building). If the building is to be reused, then the cost would be substantially less. Based on what they found, the school department has maintained the building in excellent condition. Cites a 1988 law regarding asbestos management. 99.9 percent of the material they found in the building is “non-friable” which means it will not crumble and get into the air. There is absolutely nothing that we found that would require an immediate action to protect health. Says if the shell of the building was to be retained and only the interior renovated, the cost to remediate it would be about half of the cost cited. Says that the money spent in 1990s renovation was money well-spent because almost all the asbestos was removed then.

Reiterates that the worst case cost for remediating asbestos would be $1.4mil for the 1922 building; $2.4mil for the 1980 and field house buildings; and $600,000 for the freshmen academy. These low costs are due to the good work that was done in the 1990s renovation.

2) Cawley is “cheaper” than Downtown – If you look at the TOP Cost then you might say YES but if you look at the CITY’S REQUIRED Contribution – Cawley is
$14,000,000 – $22, 000,000 more expensive to the Lowell Taxpayer and that is before any busing cost

3)There will be LARGE “Cost Overruns” and Change Orders in the Downtown

The MSBA has very specific and tough rules when it comes to these and unlike the 1996 project (NO MSBA then) things can’t change so quickly.

MSBA Module 7

4) A NO Vote on the Ballot question kills High School Project or doesn’t raise taxes

I’m hearing that some elderly and other residents are being told that a NO vote will kill any High School Project or not raise taxes. That is false a NO Vote supports the more expensive Cawley site.