Scully Answers Hunking Construction Concerns

Haverhill school leaders this week held a second in a series of informative meetings with the Hunking School community of school neighbors, parents and others on progress in the design development phase of the new $61.5 million, grades K-8 Hunking building project.

Haverhill Public Schools Superintendent James F. Scully was on hand to provide updates to about 50 attendees at the Hunking School cafeteria, on the project designs and what’s ahead for the construction phase. Scully told WHAV the consensus from those attending was concerns over security.

“Some of these people don’t have children in the school. They wanted to know how were we going to protect the children, how the building was going to be secured at night, how the site was going to be secure. A lot of it centered around, for example, there’s a fence on side of the building that’s decaying. Are we going to replace that? The answer today is ‘yes, we are going to replace it’,” Scully said.

Scully said the cost projections for the new Hunking School construction project remain in line, as he told the state School Building Authority in a separate meeting on Thursday.

“One of the questions… ‘Are you going to change any of the room designs?’ And the fellow said that 60 percent of the school systems do. No, we’re not. Our plans are solid. We spent a lot of time developing them, and we’re not going to change them. Because those are the things that add up costs,” Scully said.

Design documents were submitted in October to the state School Building Authority, which has agreed to reimburse about $40 million of the new school’s construction cost. Last June, Haverhill voters passed a debt exclusion measure to have taxpayers cover an estimated $21 million share of the $61.5 million project.