City Councilor Colin F. LePage
Saying children in all Haverhill neighborhoods deserve an equitable distribution of educational resources, city councilors are asking for an update on the status of plans to upgrade three city schools.
Councilors will ask members of the School Committee, Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Superintendent James F. Scully to a workshop to discuss the needs of the Tilton, Consentino and J.G. Whittier schools.
Motivated by the successful completion of the Hunking School, councilors say the city should work on improvement plans for the most outdated of the city’s schools, including submitting formal statements of interest to the state School Building Authority seeking help funding the projects.
The SBA contributed more than 70 percent of the construction cost of the new Hunking, which opened this week to the 400-plus students of the original Hunking.
Councilor Colin F. LePage, chairman of the council’s Administration and Finance subcommittee, said the council wrote to Fiorentini asking for a status report on the city’s plans for the three older schools, which generally serve the city’s less affluent neighborhoods. The mayor replied that the issue was under review, LePage said.
“We should be having a discussion about what the city has planned for the future for our schools,” LePage said.
The process of identifying school projects and applying for state funding can take years, which is why it’s essential that Haverhill officials create formal requests and submit them by the deadline.
“We need to find out what needs to be done, what the cost will be and how much the state would be willing to pay,” LePage said. “We want to be in that funding pipeline.”