To the editor:
I am writing this letter to encourage Haverhill residents to vote “yes” on June 10 to approve the debt exclusion to help fund the new Hunking School. My wife and I have four children all of whom attend Sacred Hearts School so I am voting “yes” even though my children will not benefit from attending the proposed new school. I am voting yes for the following reasons.
It is the right thing to do. The children deserve to attend a school that is structurally sound and free of the mold and other health risks that plague the current Hunking. The proposed new 1,005 student Hunking will replace not only the current Hunking that will be closed in 2017, but also the non-handicapped accessible Greenleaf School. The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) will pay 62 percent of the cost to build this new Hunking. This is the most cost-efficient option. It will also save the cost currently being incurred to bus over 400 students from Bradford to schools in Haverhill. It will relieve overcrowding at Bradford Elementary and at the Haverhill schools where these students are being bused.
Whether or not the debt exclusion vote passes, a new Hunking School will be built as the current Hunking is closing in 2017. Should the debt exclusion fail, the new school will be paid out of the existing strained budget. This is the same budget that provides too few police officers which has contributed to Haverhill having the 15th highest crime rate in the state. Further straining the existing budget will lead to property values declining.
I am voting “yes” because I care. I care about Haverhill moving forward. The redevelopment of Merrimack Street will be a game-changer for our city. However, it won’t mean much if our residents vote “no” to education. One of the most important thing to prospective homeowners and business owners is the educational system of the city they are considering locating in. Employers want to know that the locality provides a well educated workforce.
Vote “yes” on June 10 to help the students. Vote “yes” to improve the value of your home. Vote “yes” to prevent a reduction in the number of police, firefighters and teachers. Vote “yes” because it is the most economical option to replace the current the Hunking and the Greenleaf schools. Please vote “yes” if you care about our city.