A blackboard is uncovered as the offices of the Haverhill Retirement Board in City Hall receive a $115,000 makeover. (WHAV News photograph.)
A little bit of old Haverhill High School is being exposed as Haverhill undertakes a $115,000 renovation project on the third floor of what is now City Hall.
The Haverhill Retirement Board has temporarily relocated to a corner meeting room on the third floor as its offices are reconstructed. High ceilings, hardwood flooring and an intact blackboard were exposed as workers remove a 1973-era partition that had divided what was once a front-facing classroom.
Once workers removed a bulletin board overlay, the old chalk board was found intact.
It was in this building, somewhere between 1936 and 1939, Robert W. Montana was said to have conceived of characters and places for the Archie comic book.
The building was designed as the new Haverhill High School in 1909 by famed architect C. Willis Damon. HHS moved from the building when its new Monument Street building opened in 1964. Amesbury students used it from 1964 until the 1969 when fire destroyed Amesbury High School. It was later used for Northern Essex Community College before becoming City Hall following the urban renewal demolition of the 1861-era City Hall. The old City Hall had survived an 1888 fire that gutted the building and had to be rebuilt.
Work is expected to be completed before the end of the summer.