General Information

Taconic High School Educational Programs Needs Study, May 2012

The New England School Development Council (NESDEC) was contracted by the City of Pittsfield’s School District to complete a comprehensive needs assessment of the Chapter 74 Programs that are offered or to be offered in a new Taconic High School. Download the NESDEC Final Report here.

The high school feasibility study

During the Spring of 2011, members of the SBNC held several community outreach meetings. As part of those meetings, a condensed brochure of important information and a PowerPoint presentation were delivered.  Both are provided via the links below.

Pittsfield Schools High School Feasibility Study: A Presentation developed by SKANSKA

Feasibility Study flyer and fact sheet


High School Educational Visioning and Master Planning

In 2007, the City entered into a contract with Dore and Whittier Architects, Inc, to provide an analysis and recommendations regarding public high school education in Pittsfield, with a particular emphasis on the potential and/or opportunities for school consolidation. Over five working days, 39 individuals—representing school and community perspectives—were led by educational planner, Frank Locker, through a series of exercises. The main goal was to evaluate and determine the long range disposition of secondary education in Pittsfield.

The results of the study, presented in a public forum in May of 2008, is included in this report. For comparative purposes only, a series of conceptual design options was prepared by Dore and Whittier with estimated costs associated with each option. The core of this work, however, has set the stage for future planning related to educational plans and programs.

Overview & Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Executive Summary

Chapter 2, Educational Vision 2

Chapter 3, Workshop Issues

Chapter 4, Facilities Options

Chapter 5, Options

Chapter 6, Estimates

Chapter 7, Appendices


MSBA Process

School construction is guided by a process outlined by the MSBA.   This consists of five basic phases:

Phase 1:   Identify the problem

Phase 2    Verify the problem

Phase 3:   Collaborate on solution

Phase 4:   Agree upon a solution

Phase 5:   Implement agreed-upon solution

Over the last several years, Pittsfield has worked through Phases 1 & 2 and is currently in Phase 3, that being developing a solution. This phase has begun with initial site investigations, a Labor Market Study, the development of a draft Educational Program, and initial community outreach. Attached below is a schematic provided by Skanska USA, our Owner’s Project Manager. (Click to enlarge.)


Financial Scenarios

Often, people want to know what a construction project will cost. At this point, we have not advanced far enough into the process to determine the exact construction costs. Thus, the cost to the City of Pittsfield and taxpayers is not available. As options are developed in Phase 3, and a preferred design with construction costs is determined, these figures will be provided. It should be noted that Pittsfield has been certified for 78.3% reimbursement by the MSBA. We are hopeful that, with several incentives, we will reach the 80% reimbursement cap.

As a model, Skanska USA put together three financial scenarios based on possible costs. They are provided as a reference below.

Funding Options


More information

For more information about the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) and the school construction process, please visit the MSBA website at:

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