“In addition, some in the community indicated they were unsure whether properties along the edge of the previous map would be considered, so it also made sense to adjust it to clarify the area of consideration,” she said.
Because of the change in the map, the deadline also had to be changed, she said.
“The deadline for proposals was extended because the map was revised after the initial question-and-answer period (Jan. 4 to Jan. 11) ended,” Gillette said. “To be fair, the university wanted to offer additional time for potential bidders to ask questions .... To allow time for people to take advantage of that, the deadline was extended to 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 25.”
Gillette said the university has not received any proposals yet, “but those who handle proposals at the university say this is not unusual and that they are typically submitted either just before or on the deadline.”
She added, “We are seeing an increase in interest.”
If things don’t work out in Haverhill, one Lawrence city councilor said there are property owners in his city who would be happy to host the school.
Councilor Daniel Rivera said he has spoken with several Lawrence property owners, including: Marianne Paley Nadel, owner of Everett Mills; Julio Silverio, owner of a commercial property near the Lawrence campus of Northern Essex Community College; Rafael Guzman of RM Technologies on Broadway near Malden Mills; and Lawrence Community Works, which is developing a series of mill buildings near the Duck Bridge.
Guzman “actually submitted a bid on the property,’’ Rivera said.
“I told them even though the RFP is for Haverhill, given the slow turnaround, we should submit proposals so at least they know there is an abundant quantity of property in Lawrence,” Rivera said. “In the event Haverhill can’t deal with it, Lawrence is ready to service them.”
He added that he didn’t want to anger Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini or Rep. Brian Dempsey, D-Haverhill, who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
“This isn’t to create havoc with them,” Rivera said. “More important is to show that Lawrence is equally prepared to take this school.”