EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

October 7, 2012

State OKs new school study

Question of voter approval remains

HAVERHILL — The state has agreed to pay for most of an $800,000 study to determine the size, cost and design of a proposed new school in Bradford.

The approval clears the way for the city to begin working on the project — drawing up plans and having meetings of parents and other people involved in recommending what the school should include.

“This is an important beginning not just for the Hunking School, but for the community of Haverhill as we begin to address the most important matters with regard to the educational setting for the students,” Superintendent James Scully said in a letter to the mayor, City Council and School Committee.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority, chaired by state Treasurer Steven Grossman, voted last week to authorize the $800,000 study and agreed to pay about two-thirds of the cost. Haverhill is to pay about $250,000, with the state picking up about $550,000, Mayor James Fiorentini said.

The mayor acknowledged $800,000 appears to be a lot of money for a study. But he said the state requires the detailed analysis before it will consider paying 68 to 72 percent of the cost of building the new school.

“Many people have come up to me and said they will do it for less,” Fiorentini said of the study. “But if the state is going to give us money to build a new school, they want to make sure that good architects and engineers are used and that corners aren’t cut in developing the best plan.”

Scully said the next step in the long process is to hire a project manager and schedule a meeting of the mayor’s building committee that is to oversee the project. Fiorentini said the city must name a design selection committee before hiring a project manager. He said that committee will advertise the job and eventually review and rank firms that submit proposals. The state School Building Authority will then select the project manager, based on the city’s recommendation, the mayor said.

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