Two of several broken lockers at Consentino School.
Replacement of student lockers at Consentino School is moving forward, but one city councilor questions whether the city could have better planned and received state reimbursement.
City councilors voted 9 to 0 Tuesday to approve a request by Mayor James J. Fiorentini to transfer $170,000 from a capital reserve account to pay for the installation of 962 new corridor lockers, with hanging padlocks, at Consentino. A bid submitted by contractor J. Sallese and Sons, Woburn, was selected by the city for the project, including disposal of the existing 45-year old lockers, which were determined “85 percent broken” and “not cost effective to fix,” according to documents.
Following the vote, the council also approved a motion by Councilor Colin F. LePage to again ask the mayor to begin the process of securing state money for proposed improvements at Consentino, Tilton and Whitter schools. Councilors first voted June 28 to ask Fiorentini to complete Statements of Interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority. Those statements, due to the state before next April, kick off a process that could lead to the state paying for up to 72 percent of the costs of rehabilitating or replacing Tilton, Consentino and Whittier schools.
LePage Tuesday night said an application for the Consentino improvement project was actually completed by the school department, but “never brought to the school committee or city council.”
“And the reason I mention this is because of the Hunking School project that we have and we realize we are receiving 78 percent reimbursement on a project that we put in front of the School Building Authority,” LePage said. “A little more planning would allow us to receive reimbursement on these items. This isn’t facilities, this is equipment that we could be saving 78 percent of the cost we’re putting in now if we had planned a little bit earlier and we just filled in some of the paperwork.”
LePage also contended a proposed girls’ softball field improvement project, being built to comply with equal opportunity Title 9 regulations, is delayed as Haverhill School Superintendent James F. Scully and Athletic Director Thomas E. O’Brien have “not received any direction from the mayor in doing an RFP (requests for proposal) or to go through the process.”
Dairy Queen-Related Vote Takes Place in Two Weeks
In other council action, a request to withdraw a petition to rezone three “residential medium” parcels on upper Main Street to “commercial highway,” including one for redevelopment at the corner of Rosedale Avenue, was placed on file for two weeks before a formal vote could be taken. The rezoning proposal received an unfavorable recommendation by the Haverhill Planning Board Aug. 10. It would have included, as WHAV reported, plans to locate a Dairy Queen franchise adjacent to Starbucks. Abutters voiced opposition in order to “keep the neighborhood residential.”