EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

April 1, 2014

Pro-new school groupto launch public campaign

150 volunteers meeting tomorrow at Barking Dog

HAVERHILL — The citizens group organized to champion the Hunking School building project will launch the public face of its campaign tomorrow night.

Karen Peugh, treasurer for “Haverhill for Hunking: Haverhill Citizens for School Success,” said the parent-led organization is ready to assign jobs and lay out campaign plans at a kickoff meeting at 6:30 at the Barking Dog Ale House, 77 Washington St.

“Already roughly 150 volunteers have said they want to help inform Haverhill voters about why they should support the debt exclusion vote on June 10 that will help to pay the city’s share of the Hunking School project,” Peugh said.

Dozens of parents, students and school and city officials packed a standing-room-only council meeting March 25 to support the debt-exclusion proposition, many wearing stickers bearing the slogan “Haverhill for Hunking: Vote Yes for School Success.”

They are looking to add to their ranks at tomorrow night’s campaign kickoff. They urge anyone interested in supporting the effort to attend the meeting or to contact the group at haverhillforhunking@gmail.com.

“The structure of the C.D. Hunking School off South Main Street is crumbling,” the group’s press release said. “The floors of the school’s north wing are propped up by 400 steel posts that engineers say will keep the building usable through the 2016-2017 school year, but no longer.”

In late 2011, the city closed half of Hunking Middle School due to fears a portion of the building could collapse. About 150 students were sent to another school due to structural problems. Repairs were made and the students were eventually moved back to Hunking, but the building is expected to be usable for only two or three more years.

As recently as yesterday, school officials said the school’s boiler room was damaged due to water leaking in from walls and floors.

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