Mayor’s Capital Plan: Two New Schools, Rehab of City Hall with $93.5 Million Borrowing

Haverhill's Dr. Albert B. Consentino School. (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News.)

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Two new middle schools paid for without overriding the state’s tax-limiting law and rehab of Haverhill City Hall are among the items in the city’s proposed capital spending plan through 2024.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini will formally reveal the plan at a special meeting of the Haverhill City Council tonight. In an overview, he warns, the plan is “a fluid document subject to change each year as priorities change and additional information becomes available.”

About $75.8 million is thought to be necessary to repair or replace Albert B. Consentino School, John G. Whittier School and Tilton School and maintain other school buildings. In an email to residents Monday, the mayor said, the city can build the “two new middle schools without an override or a debt exclusion.”

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Other large expenses expected are capping the city’s Old Groveland Road landfill, fire station renovations and new trucks, highway department equipment, a replacement dog pound and road and sidewalk repairs.

Fiorentini notes he has received about $113 million in construction project requests from various city departments—most of which, he plans to pay most of through $93.5 million in borrowing. The remainder will be paid by the city’s surplus, state road money and annual city budgets. According to figures provided by the mayor’s office, the city expects to pay about $7.5 million in borrowing next year, peaking to $8.6 million two years from now and dropping to $6.4 million annually by 2024.

In the budget that begins July 1, $380,000 is earmarked for such City Hall repairs and upgrades as roof replacement, heating and air conditioning and new exterior doors. By 2024, costs balloon to a total of $4.4 million with electrical upgrades, renovation of the auditorium, new windows and other fixes. City Hall moved to the current building in 1973 when the old offices were demolished in the wake of the city’s ill-fated urban renewal program. It was built as Haverhill High School.

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