Officials Break Ground for New Hunking School at Ceremony

School Superintendent James F. Scully offers remarks at groundbreaking ceremony.

Local and state officials Tuesday praised supporters who made the construction phase of a new $61.5 million Hunking School project a reality.

State dignitaries including Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg and Massachusetts School Building Authority CEO Maureen Valente joined Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini, School Superintendent James F. Scully as well as school committee members, city councilors and Hunking students at ground breaking ceremonies Tuesday morning.

Hunking Principal Jared Fulgoni said they have taken shovels in hand one year after school parents and others held signs and asked residents to “believe in the dream of a new Hunking.”

“A year ago, we knocked on doors and we asked people to invest in the future of Haverhill and invest in its children. Today, we see a return on that investment,” Fulgoni said.

Fiorentini credited a unified effort with city leaders and said the Hunking project would be the beginning of an effort to upgrade, one at a time and within the budget, other schools in the city.

“This new school will be a state-of-the-art school and it will raise the bar on education all throughout the city. Now it will be our job to make certain this becomes a citywide effort, that this is the start and not the end, so that we don’t have a tale of two cities. So our next step has to be to continue to upgrade, within our budgets, the other schools in the city,” Fiorentini said.

Treasurer Goldberg gave credit to local supporters who knocked on doors to gain support for a debt exclusion to help fund the project, which she said is “hard work” and “something we have to do.”

“And why have you done it? Because it’s for the children of Haverhill. It’s about our future. And that’s why these school events where I’m either cutting the ribbon – and I look forward to coming back here to cut that ribbon when this new building gets built – or doing the ground breaking means so much to me,” Goldberg said.

The Hunking construction project will replace a deficient middle school building with a facility housing grades K-8, including relocated Greenleaf School students and others attending classes elsewhere in the city.

Officials "break ground" at Hunking School ceremony Tuesday.

Officials “break ground” at Hunking School ceremony Tuesday. (WHAV photographs.)