EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

February 22, 2014

Weakened roof poses new safety concern

Snow threatened to collapse top of deteriorated school

(Continued)

The parent group has launched a grass roots campaign to support the anticipated ballot question.

The project took a major step recently when state officials voted to place the estimated $61.5 million plan into the state’s funding pipeline. The state vote also signaled the start of a local campaign to win the support of voters to pay the city’s $24 million share of building the school.

Mayor James Fiorentini said the proposed debt exclusion would not actually increase taxes because current payments on the debt for two elementary schools built about 20 years ago are about to expire. He said the plan is to continue those payments for another 20 years to pay for the Hunking replacement. Taxpayers, however, still must vote to extend those payments, which currently amount to $67 a year for the average single-family homeowner, he said.

School officials have said replacing Hunking with a new kindergarten-to-grade-eight-school will also allow the city to close the outdated and deteriorated Greenleaf School and relieve overcrowding at Bradford Elementary School and other buildings.

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