Magliocchetti: New Tilton School Would Solve Haverhill’s ‘Two Cities’ Problem

(File photograph.)

Tilton School on Grove Street

Plans for filling the new Hunking School continue to take shape, with roughly 150 Bradford Elementary fifth-graders and all 250-plus students in kindergarten through second grade at Greenleaf School moving to the Hunking when school begins in September.

Added to the students already enrolled, those 400 students will bring Hunking’s student count to about 900, Superintendent James F. Scully told the School Committee Thursday, leaving a little more than 100 seats available to students who don’t live in the city’s Bradford section.

Scully said the majority of the seats, as many as 80, will be offered mostly to middle school students from the K-through-eighth-grade Consentino School, located on Washington Street. Mayor James J. Fiorentini urged Scully to move as many students as possible from the Tilton Elementary School on Grove Street. Both the Consentino and Tilton schools sit in the neighborhood known as Mount Washington.

Residents of Mount Washington earn about $11,000 less per year than the average Haverhill family, and $30,000 less per year than the average family living across the river in Bradford.

The presence of a new, state-of-the-art school in the affluent Bradford section juxtaposed with two older schools with space and structural challenges located in the poorer inner-city Mount Washington section has spurred talk of what Fiorentini calls a “tale of two cities.”

The mayor said he doesn’t want to see the city’s poor children consigned to the city’s older schools while those from richer neighborhoods attend the new school.

But committee member Paul A. Magliocchetti said moving a handful of students from one school to the other is not the answer.

“Moving a dozen students from Tilton to Hunking doesn’t solve the ‘tale of two cities’ problem,” he said. “The real answer is to build a new school to replace the Tilton.”

Committee member Scott A. Wood suggested keeping the Greenleaf students in place would open 250 seats at Hunking that could be used by students from Mount Washington and other inner-city neighborhoods.

“I’m concerned about the disparity between the two,” said Wood, referring to the Tilton and Hunking schools.

Wood also cautioned that moving the Greenleaf students out of the Chadwick Street building could endanger its continued use. With space at a premium districtwide, Wood said he fears losing the classrooms at the Greenleaf.

But Scully said he plans to move other students into the building, which does not offer handicap accessibility and needs a new roof and furnace.

Magliocchetti said he recognizes the need for space for students, but maintaining the Greenleaf might not be the best choice.

“Keep it alive, if we can,” he said of the school, “but there’s a cost to doing that.”

Magliocchetti reminded Scully that the successful campaign that led to voter approval of the $61 million Hunking was predicated on the closure of the Greenleaf School and the $11 million savings that would entail by eliminating the need for repairs to the building.

“We have an obligation to keep our promise,” he said.

“In reality, we do have a classroom issue, and if we’re going to need more classrooms in the city then we are going to have to seriously consider if we need another new school to balance things out,” Magliocchetti said.


10 thoughts on “Magliocchetti: New Tilton School Would Solve Haverhill’s ‘Two Cities’ Problem

  1. Instead of spending millions of taxpayers money on a private project like the Habor place with no ROI. The money should have been spent on the roads and schools. We need term limits.

  2. I think it’s a great idea! Bradford residents should not be the only recipients of this brand new school. This school was built for Haverhill not Bradford only!
    Greenleaf should only close when Crowell closes. Both schools are in horrid conditions. One you have to pay to go to (Crowell). Keeping both of these schools open and relieving some of the pressure from the other schools in the city is fairest way to go until the city can come up with a plan to replace both schools.

  3. Maggliochetti has been on the School Committee for 10 years or so and all of a sudden he is interested in the kids of the Tilton and all of our children in the Haverhill schools. As I’ve long expected a total faker!

  4. Should have made an assessment of the condition and capacity of ALL of Haverhill’s schools BEFORE the building of the Hunking school. What is wrong with the School Committee and the City Council that they didn’t consider the needs of the City overall when Hunking school was built?

  5. Why not fix the zoning so it stops putting 6 to 14 units on one building lot? I can point out many examples in the city one no more obvious than the corner of Monument and Hilldale. Where there once was a one family home on less than an acre with 3 bedrooms now stands 7 duplexes with 2-3 bedrooms each AND the old home is still there. Where you once had a max of 4 kids going to the local school now you have a max of over 30? 30 kids is an entire classroom. At 15K a student or more thats 450K+ in added costs to taxpayers. The taxes on those same units do not cut it. 15 units at 4k each are only 60K The city went in the hole 390K on that one piece of property!

  6. Another false premise put forth by our honorable Mayor and his elected cronies. They PROMISED that Greenleaf would be CLOSED if we authorized the new Hunking school and residents would realize that $11 million to help pay the bond on the new school.

    Here we go again. Lies, lies, and more lies. I wonder how these people raised their kids if they have any ? Did they lie this much to them ? Will they be happy if their kids lie to them to get what they want ? People are so sick and tired of this garbage.

  7. Maggliochetti typical spend more money instead of having the Tilton kids with braDeford children. Scared those parents will be mad that the low income kids will be there and you will lose votes? Your pathetic