Haverhill City Council Signs Off on Asking State to Pay for New Whittier Middle School

Executive Assistant Beverly McGillicuddy, School Committee member Gail M. Sullivan, Superintendent Margaret Marotta and Assistant Superintendent Michael J. Pfifferling at a Haverhill School Committee meeting. (WHAV News file photograph.)

The Haverhill City Council last night completed the final step in the process of submitting a statement of interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority to replace the John Greenleaf Whittier School.

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Michael Pfifferling told councilors the statement of interest was not likely to be approved this year, but would set the wheels in motion.

“It’s an application to the state for consideration for us to be entered into the Mass. School Building Authority’s pipeline. If we were accepted, it would be probably two or three years before we would even be breaking ground and probably four to five years before we would actually have a new building in place,” Pfifferling said.

The request passed by a vote of 8-0 with Councilor Mary Ellen Daly O’Brien absent during that portion of the meeting. The School Committee voted last Thursday to submit the request because the school, which was built in 1957, has numerous building deficiencies, has become overcrowded and is technically outdated.

The School Building Authority requires both the City Council and School Committee approve the request before it may be submitted. The request will be delivered today—the deadline for submission.

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