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Community Music School of Springfield Improves Air Quality and Building Efficiency With MassDevelopment Loan

January 17, 2013

Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077 (cell)
Linda Pierce, Community Music School of Springfield, 413-732-8428

MassDevelopment has provided a $300,000 Green Loan to the Community Music School of Springfield (CMSS), a nonprofit urban arts education center dedicated to providing access to the arts, particularly music, to children and adults. CMSS will use loan proceeds to replace its failing HVAC system. The School anticipates that the new high-efficiency geothermal and solar hybrid system with new condensing boiler technologies will save CMSS up to 60 percent a year in utility costs. The Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, which is co-administered by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and MassDevelopment, also provided a grant to CMSS for renovations that included the HVAC improvements.

“What seems like a small step,“ replacing an HVAC system, “provides a big impact in cost savings, comfort, and quality for a Springfield landmark," said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. "We're thrilled to help finance the Community Music School of Springfield's building modernization so CMSS can continue to fulfill its important cultural mission."

CMSS, founded in 1983, provides high-quality music instruction and arts education in an environment that respects diversity and encourages creativity. CMSS's faculty of 55 musicians and educators provide instruction to more than 600 students a week across 35 different instruments and voice in a variety of music styles. CMSS is also home to the Prelude Preschool of the Arts, Massachusetts's only full-day arts-based preschool, and its 160-seat performing arts venue, Robyn Newhouse Hall. In 2001, CMSS received the Commonwealth Award for its commitment to building community through the arts. CMSS also provides community outreach to the Springfield public schools, community centers, afterschool programs and housing complexes throughout Massachusetts.

“Without the support of MassDevelopment and our community partners, this project would not have been possible,” said Eileen McCaffery, Interim Executive Director of CMSS. “On any given day, you can hear music flowing out of this beautiful historic landmark in downtown Springfield, bringing together children and families from all across the community. We are truly grateful to MassDevelopment for supporting our project and the Community Music School's mission.”

Utility companies and the Department of Energy Resources hope the new system will encourage use in other historic buildings. The system helps modernize the school's facility, a 34,000-square-foot Art Deco bank building that dates back to 1932.

MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2012, MassDevelopment financed or managed 280 projects generating investment of more than $2.3 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are projected to create more than 12,000 jobs and build or rehabilitate 900 residential units.