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Cost Savings on Display

Self-Funded Roof Repair Avoids Debt Obligation – November 22, 2021

With the recent receipt of the Massachusetts School Building Authority‘s (MSBA) final audit, the Commonwealth has confirmed the latest bond avoidance approach by the Blackstone Valley Vocational Regional School District (BVT). The 1.4 million dollar roof repair project addressed the restoration of a major section of the school's roof and avoided debt.

In most cases, embarking on a repair project would require a school district or municipality to request a special appropriation from its residents. In this case, BVT makes an annual pledge to pursue alternatives to complete such projects within its one-time budget request and must therefore find creative ways to finance major renovations. Securing reimbursements through the MSBA has become one of the school's proven methods.

Remarkably, BVT was able to undertake and complete the needed repairs without debt borrowing obligations to the District’s thirteen-member municipalities. Under the state-approved MSBA accelerated repair program, the final reimbursement is $584,080. BVT has utilized a process of recycling funds to protect its nearly sixty-year-old structure while securing reimbursement within several previous endeavors. Its top-notch facilities team continues to maintain the facility and all that is underneath the roof.

The self-funded tax avoidance approach has earned high praise from many, including the MSBA Executive Director and local Finance Committee members. "We shall continue to explore and investigate self-funding options whenever feasible and affordable," stated BVT School Committee Chair Joseph Hall.

The process of competing and complying with the MSBA program generated $1.55 in spending power for every dollar invested in the repair. Additionally, it earned BVT a Green School designation for its energy-saving building renovation and design features. Under that MSBA approved project, the Commonwealth reimbursed the District at the then eligible 75.5%.

"The MSBA Accelerated Repair Program has allowed for fiscal responsibility while undertaking necessary, sustainable repairs to extend the lifespan of our school," said Superintendent-Director Dr. Michael F. Fitzpatrick. "The cost-effective improvements made our building more energy-efficient and generated substantial cost savings for the District. A win-win for everyone involved."