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Why is the town thinking of taking on a school building project right now?

The Essex Elementary School building is in critical need of attention. In December 2023, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) identified the Elementary school as one of the neediest schools in the state (close to being out of options to address the structural issues of the building) and a good candidate for the grant program.  Each day we wait to take action, we risk not only forgoing state money to offset any project costs, but we risk incurring expenditures of more than nine million dollars in "band-aid" costs such as replacing the roof and major mechanicals only to spend the dollars twice when we are forced to address the needed structural repairs.