Using the nearly completed faÃ§ade of the new Paul Revere School as a background, State Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill handed over a $9.6 million check to the city last Friday.
Masons put the finishing touches on brickwork around a towering archway that frames the front of the school last Friday, and meanwhile, those officials paying their salaries gathered below to discuss the innovative way in which they gathered the cash.
When it came time to build the Paul Revere, things had gotten expensive and the city was in a bind for financing.
It was at that point that the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), under the direction of Katherine Craven and Cahill, negotiated with the city to allow an innovative new low-interest loan program.
That was in addition to the existing new way in which the MSBA now funds school construction, which is done up front rather than through a reimbursement system.
â€œThese plaques up here,â€ said Mayor Tom Ambrosino, pointing to stone plaques salvaged from the old school and incorporated into the masonry of the new school, â€œwere saved from the old Paul Revere School, which was more than 100 years old. So, we have some old with the new here…It was the MSBAâ€™s flexibility in advocating this low-interest loan program that allowed this building to be built…Weâ€™ve done a great deal of school building, but with the MSBAâ€™s help.â€
Revere is the first school district in the state to utilize the new low-interest loan program.
Cahill said he was proud that the city and the MSBA were able to find a solution that worked.
â€œWe found the most fiscally and educationally appropriate solution to the problems at the school,â€ he said. â€œThis check represents a significant investment in the future of Revereâ€™s children…This will remain a school that will feel like itâ€™s always been here. This fits and Iâ€™m proud of it.â€
Cahill also pointed out that the funding for the Paul Revere was done in advance, and so there was no wasted money put towards interest.
A press release from his office pointed out that, statewide, timely payments from the MSBA have saved $2.9 billion in interest costs.
â€œI saw a report on TV the other night that detailed how the state highway department was so late in paying its bills that it owed contractors more than $1 million in interest,â€ he said. â€œThatâ€™s $1 million we donâ€™t have right now. We give people their money early and not late. We would never waste money like that. Thatâ€™s not how we operate at the MSBA.â€
Said Craven, â€œThis is the fruits of our labor. This is reform in action.â€
The new Paul Revere School is slated to finish construction some time in late spring. It will house students for the first time in the fall of 2010.