MERRIMACK SPECIAL EDUCATION COLLABORATIVE
Billerica MA | Renovation | 40,000sf
Merrimack Special Education Collaborative (MSEC) is a Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approved public school entity which operates outside the parameters of a traditional public school, having to finance its facilities and operations in much the same way as a charter school, without a Town or City funded budget and based purely on the publicly funded tuitions of attending students. MSEC provides high quality academic, therapeutic, and vocational services to individuals referred by local school districts and social service agencies. MSEC also provides ongoing professional development and training experiences for educators and educational agencies. Recognizing that the educational environment rapidly changes, MSEC creates, adapts, and provides flexible programming to address evolving needs. MSEC provides an environment within which students and others can maximize educational and/or occupational skills. By sharing its resources with multiple school districts and social service agencies, its programs maintain superior quality and reasonable costs to those it serves, by meeting or exceeding state standards, and achieving economies of scale.

MSEC has traditionally leased all of its facilities, but hired Ai3 Architects LLC as part of a long-term master planning process to develop and own their own facilities. Ai3 explored numerous potential sites and buildings for purchase by MSEC, ultimately finding a cost-effective solution for the redevelopment of an existing building into a solid long-term solution. Ai3 was involved in all aspects of design, including preliminary planning, final design planning, and the development of pricing and bid documents. Ai3 was chosen by MSEC because of our reputation as an innovative firm with experience in assisting schools with creative “outside-the-box” educational space solutions that are cost effective and therefore financially feasible.

The final solution involved the purchase and retrofitting of a 40,000 sq. ft. building within an existing office park. MSEC developed a 40,000 sq. ft. new facility and associated site work with a total project budget of approximately $8.0 million.