PHOTOS: Building Renovations Underway at J.G. Whittier; Fiorentini Touts ‘Great’ Progress

Mayor James J. Fiorentini toured J.G. Whittier's new boys' bathrooms April 19, 2019. (Courtesy photograph.)

Children and families of John Greenleaf Whittier Middle School: Relief is on the way. Over last week’s school vacation, the Haverhill Public Schools facilities department, under the direction of School Maintenance Director Heather Forgione, headed to the Concord Street school to start on long-awaited building upgrades.

By the time students were back to class Monday, newly remodeled boys’ bathrooms were ready for use. Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini checked out the progress later that day, calling the improvements a step in the right direction.

J.G. Whittier's bathrooms before. (Courtesy photograph)

“New sinks, stalls, urinals, floor, ceiling, fixtures and a fresh paint job. Looks great,” Fiorentini said after being taken on a tour by Assistant Principal Tim Betty.

Among those keeping the city on task when it comes to repairs is Whittier parent Paige Caswell, who first called the 60-year-old school “a pit” when appealing to the School Committee in January.

Member Maura L. Ryan-Ciardiello echoes Caswell’s concerns, arguing that the school—serving 542 pupils—is “disgusting” and in “desperate need for repair.”

“It’s been going on for decades,” she said. “This school clearly has been neglected and there’s serious safety and health concerns.”

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