Medford and Melrose High School's outdated science lab will be replaced by the Massachusetts School of Architecture administration as part of the $60 million program, which aims to usher in a new era of science education in 10 public high schools.
Officials in each city are racing to meet the positive schedule set by the authority for its Science Lab initiative.
The state is using federal stimulus funds to provide grants to repay part of the cost of the school district program.
Local officials say Medford will receive less than £ 60% and Melrose will receive £ 51%.
In June, the two school districts, together with Saugus, were selected to submit a feasibility study to the authority.
But at a special town meeting in July, the hope for a new science lab was dashed.
An article seeking $250,000 to fund a feasibility study was returned to the school board and directed to inform the town of the state of interest in building a new high school.
The region will receive a 53% reimbursement rate from the science initiative authority.
"We think this is a good opportunity, but the town meeting does not agree," said Wendy Reid, chairman of the school committee . ".
"The day after the vote, I informed the state.
They want us to now explain in writing what happened.
"Daniel Collins, a spokesman for the Massachusetts School of Architecture authority, did not respond to calls seeking comment.
The feasibility study for Medford and Melrose will be completed by November, when the authority is expected to finally vote to approve the plans.
According to the guidelines of the authority, construction will be completed by September 2013.
Medford City Council is expected to meet this month to consider the budget of $13.
8 million authorization of bonds for laboratory financing.
Oldman's Melrose board took its first step in June when it approved a $153 feasibility study.
"It's all going very fast," said Dennis Garfield, a city planner at Melrose, who works with the school building committee to oversee the project.
"We have been trying to meet every deadline.
Roy Belson, president of Medford School, said at a special school committee meeting on Monday that "time is really critical . " The meeting was designed to discuss project selection.
"The key for us right now is to build the best laboratory possible.
Every city has worked with the state.
Designated architects develop projects that meet key national goals: develop flexible spaces that can be used to teach chemistry, biology, physics and other sciences.
Smart Boards, laptop cars, routers, and portable lab work benches are common features of modern labs.
Melrose is proposing a 18,000-square-foot renovation.
"It's a pretty significant amount of space and it's not touched when we do other renovations to the school," Gaffey said . ".
The area will be divided into 11 spaces as a laboratory, classroom and lecture area.
"We are very confident [the authority]
"We will accept our design," Gaffey said . ".
Melrose has not yet made a final estimate of the cost of the project.
She said the building area is estimated at $250 per square foot.
In Medford, the school board voted last Monday to choose two design options to replace the original lab at Medford High School.
Each plan will cost $13.
8 million, and 8 new laboratories are required to renovate the existing 9 laboratories.
A new roof will be built throughout the 42,000-square-foot laboratory area on the third floor of the building.
But there is only one option that includes replacing the windows on the third floor.
"This is a great opportunity to improve our lab space and educational products," said Mayor Michael J . "
School Committee chairman Mike Green
"It's important that we lock [reimbursement]rate.
"Medford will submit any plan that the city council chooses to fund.