The town’s Permanent Planning and Building Committee has narrowed the field from 12 to four design firms bidding to develop a master plan for the Dale Street School property and surrounding area. The four finalists will be interviewed by the board during its Jan. 8 meeting, starting at 7 p.m. in the Center at Medfield. According to Town Administrator Michael Sullivan, the winning firm will create a best-use scenario for the school building and nearby facilities, which include the town’s fire and police headquarters, and the recently renovated Memorial School. “The Dale Street School needs renovation to make it more handicapped accessible and to increase the classroom sizes,” Sullivan said. “However, the state requires that if a school building costs more to renovate than to build new, the school has to be replaced. In this case, the school is a historic building in town and, as the former high school, it has a lot of sentimental value for people, too, so we are looking for ways to potentially reuse the building for a combined police and fire public safety building, and perhaps to add in space for the Parks and Recreation Department.” Sullivan said that if the building is used for town offices, the school could be replaced once funds are found. In its request for proposals, the town set the maximum fee for the preliminary building plan and a master plan for the Dale Street district at $100,000, but expects to negotiate the final figure with the winning firm.
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