New Face of Haverhill’s Merrimack Street: Higher Education Also Finds a Home in Business District

Northern Essex Community College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program Manager Denis Boucher goes to work in one of the new kitchens. (Courtesy photograph.)

Part 3

Haverhill’s renewed Merrimack Street features apartment living, new restaurants and higher education.

When plans for Harbor Place were made for White’s Corner at Merrimack and Main Streets, then UMass-Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan agreed the university would take two floors in the new commercial building. It has since offered classes on one floor and the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub on the other.

Now, Northern Essex Community College plans a “soft opening” of its Lupoli Family Culinary Arts Institute at The Heights. The opening begins with a series of 30 noncredit culinary arts courses, beginning with “Summer Herbs from Garden to Kitchen” on Sept. 15.

“We couldn’t wait to get started and we wanted to do it safely,” said Sandy Zappala, program manager, at the college’s Center for Corporate and Community Education. “There’s increased interest in growing your own food and cooking at home, and we’ve tailored our courses with that in mind.”

One course features Sausage Making, taught by Kristen Carbone of Haverhill’s Carbone’s Kitchen.

A tour of the unfinished building last year revealed expansive views of the Merrimack River, nine kitchens, six classrooms and much high-tech over the two floors. The space includes classrooms, laboratories and state-of-the-art kitchens. Besides noncredit community courses, Northern Essex plans two credit programs—a Culinary Arts Certificate and Associate Degree in Hospitality Management. Students enrolled in those programs are studying online this semester since the college has moved almost fully to online delivery, but the plan is to offer onsite courses next spring.

For now, social distancing will be practiced, with classroom classes limited to six people and demonstration classes limited to four.

The college is planning to host a community open house as soon as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. “We have kitchens equipped with the very best in a building with an amazing view,” said Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program Manager Denis Boucher. “It’s an inspiring place to cook and learn, and I can’t wait to show it off.”

The entrance to 160 Merrimack Street receives final touches. (WHAV News photograph.)

Comments are closed.