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Thread: How about using the Raytheon property as a new High School?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    165

    Question How about using the Raytheon property as a new High School?

    This probably isn't a new or novel idea, but what's wrong with re-fitting the Polaroid building into a high school? It's certainly big enough (410,000 sq. ft.), has plenty of parking, is easily accessed by school busses, and would cost the town less than half of the proposed design to build a new high school on the existing site. In addition, the renovations necessary to the building to bring it up to code for a high school could be done while the students continued to attend the existing high school, so there would be no disruption or interruption of the school year. Switchover from one to the other could either be done during the summer vacation, or during one of the longer breaks during the school year (depending on when the new building was ready). Once the transition occurred, the existing high school could be dismantled, and the property sold off in lots at the market rate. This would likely yield enough money to cover the entire cost of the acquisition plus renovations and then some. The existing high school area could be used for mixed use purposes (dare I say a Town Center?) including housing, shopping, municipal, and recreation. Likely this would solve many of the wastewater issues, the conservation land issues, the traffic issues, and many other problems identified with the Town Center project. The objections regarding the cleanup of hazardous materials on the Raytheon site seem to be a red herring, but I'd love to hear other people's opinions on this. Thoughts anyone?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
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    1,431

    Default Raytheon building as a high school?

    Not sure if it was 2002 or 2003, but I was part of a group of school and town officials that toured the building.

    A number of factors "argued" against further consideration: back-of-the envelope estimated purchase plus renovation price (substantial reconfiguration would have been required), loss of potential tax revenue, off-site athletic facilities, and environmental concerns (of course, those are no different than for housing).

    I'm not sure what the purchase price would be, if anyone has that number, I'd like to know it. Also, some more informed estimate of renovation costs.

    Regarding the tax revenue issue, it turns out that a revenue of $1 million would in fact be quite significant ($1M is what I wrote at the time; for the proposed Town Center project, I think the net revenue was on the order of $500k). Keep in mind that the HS would not be paid for all at once. Depending on what assumptions you make about whether or not there would be reimbursement, what interest rate you would pay, and for what period, the HS project would cost the town between $2.2 million and $3.9 million per year (using the case studies generated by the HSBC and the Finance Committee). Being able to offset those expenditures by $1 million (or even $500k) would be quite attractive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    wayland
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    36

    Smile Rayteon Property Cannot be used as a high school

    If you attended the last P.I.P forum at the town Building one of the things mentioned was deed ristrictions imposed by raytheon that due to eviormental issues on that site .it can not be used for recreational or school use plus the fact the cost would be very high and it will take along time to clean up the site

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    165

    Default Up to date data would be helpful

    Yes, but my understanding is that the environmental issues are being addressed, and are close to closure (all on Raytheon's nickel, not Wayland tax dollars). It would be useful to use numbers and verified facts when discussing whether or not an idea makes sense to pursue or not. If the idea doesn't float either economically or ecologically, then I guess it isn't a good idea. But just nay-saying an idea because you don't like it for personal reasons is simply unhelpful.

    In my discussions with the developer, my understanding is that the developer has invested around $16M (plus or minus) in acquiring the land and building. Depending on how well a negotiation goes, we might be able to strike a deal with him that would include any upgrades or modifications needed to convert the building into a school, address any enviromental issues that might remain, and have him take over the existing high school after the transition occurred to develop it into whatever is agreeable to them and the town. Structured properly, I'm sure that the town could do this with little or no change to cash flow. The trick is to approach this from a "package" point of view, and consider all the costs and benefits concurrently leaving the town with what it needs, and the developer with a decent ROI.

    Jeff -- I'm still curious if this is something that would be considered by the various boards and the selectmen as an alternative to putting 40B on the Raytheon property. I think the idea of building a Town Center there is dead (based on listening to the developers comments), and they are moving full steam ahead on the 40B concept, which will leave Wayland with no control over the project. The nay-sayers claim that 40B "just isn't that simple", and won't leave us unprotected. I agree, it's not that simple, but it will happen, and will leave us with no say in what gets built, or how many kids come along with the development. The extra strain on the budget and schools is not something to look forward to, and I'm afraid it could the be straw that breaks Wayland's back.

    Constructive thoughts, comments, and ideas on this from anyone are welcome.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2

    Question Raytheon Property

    If the Raytheon property, due to environmental issues, may not be used for recreational uses or for a school, how is it possible to build homes on the land?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    I checked with Fred Turkington, the Town Administrator, and got this response:

    "The preliminary layout of the 40B development by Dean Stratouli pushed all of the development envelope to the western half of the site, outside of the restricted area. AT some point, the AUL will be lifted when tests confirm safe soils and the developer has not ruled out additional development on the eastern half of the site. He is proposing to raze the Raytheon building when the housing is constructed and leave the area as green space (land over the restricted area)."

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