Construction has commenced of the new Fort River Elementary School in the town of Amherst in the US state of Massachusetts. 

The groundbreaking ceremony saw participation from Amherst Town manager Paul Bockelman and School Building chair Cathy Schoen, Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) CEO Jim MacDonald and Koby Gardner-Levine, representing Congressman Jim McGovern. 

Koby Gardner-Levine said: “We are celebrating the groundbreaking of a new school that is going to make such a difference in the lives of countless children in the coming decades. I know firsthand about the difference this school makes.” 

This project, which began with Amherst’s acceptance into the MSBA Core Programme in December 2019, is expected to cost up to $98.2m. 

The new facility will replace Wildwood and Fort River elementary schools on the Fort River site. 

It will be a kindergarten through fifth-grade school.  

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Designed to accommodate 575 students, the three-storey building will have five classrooms per grade.  

The school is expected to be a Net Zero energy building, using ground source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels to meet its energy needs entirely. 

The site will also feature outdoor learning and play areas, including accessible playground equipment.  

Additionally, the project will restore community playing fields, add basketball courts, trails, and rain gardens.  

The school’s design facilitates after-hours use, with a cafeteria featuring a stage for performances. 

Following the work of DiNisco Design and the owner’s project manager Anser Advisory Management, the town submitted the Schematic Design report to the MSBA. 

The project received state funding approval on 26 April 2023.  

This approval is built upon two earlier reports namely Preliminary Design Programme and the Preferred Schematic Report. 

Preliminary Design Programme assessed space needs while Preferred Schematic Report selected the Fort River site for the new building.  

The MSBA has pledged $50.2m towards the project, with additional funds from Eversource incentives and Community Preservation Act funds.  

The town is responsible for the remaining $45.7m, with officials actively seeking further funding.  

Paul Bockelman said: “This building is a testament to the fortitude and generosity of the taxpayers of Amherst who stood up, went to the ballot box, and voted overwhelmingly to build this school for our children.”