HAVERHILL — Ahead of Haverhill's anticipated multimillion-dollar renovation of the Dr. Albert B. Consentino Middle School, Mayor James Fiorentini Tuesday night is expected to ask the City Council to use $750,000 in free cash to fund a feasibility study.
State officials have approved paying for most of the cost of the renovation and expansion of the 50-year-old Washington Street school, which currently houses 1,000 students in grades four through eight.
While funding could be covered up to 70%, Fiorentini has said he expects the Massachusetts School Building Authority to realistically shoulder 50-55% of the repair budget. Haverhill taxpayers would be responsible for the rest, including design and engineering costs.
“We're very fortunate in Haverhill. I still believe we can pay for this without a debt exclusion,” Fiorentini said. “Free cash will pay for the study. I intend to take half of the Hale debt money and apply it to the bonds we're going to need for Consentino.”
Fiorentini has said the Consentino will see a new roof and up to eight new classrooms and teaching spaces including science labs, teacher workrooms and specialized rooms for speech and other special education services.
A committee to oversee the upcoming renovations includes Consentino Principal John Mele, Superintendent Margaret Marotta, School Committee member Scott Wood and Facilities Director Heather Forgione, among others.