Haverhill Schools Consider Leasing Pre-School Classrooms from Temple Emanu-El

(File photograph.)

Haverhill needs more classroom space and school administrators are hoping Temple Emanu-El will provide some of it.

School Superintendent Margaret Marotta told the School Committee last night that Haverhill’s preschools are full beyond capacity, necessitating two half-day sessions in order to serve all students, a situation, she said, is not ideal.

“Some of our students really require full-day preschool opportunities. Some of kids with disabilities, it’s really sort of the state-of-the art expectation for preschool care and we have a very hard time offering that,” she said.

Marotta said the administration began looking for additional space that could be leased for that purpose and received one response from Temple Emanu-El on Main Street.

“What we did receive is an excellent opportunity for us to expand some of these preschool at the Temple Emanu-el, to lease that space and to provide six additional preschool classrooms for students with and without disabilities in the city,” she explained.

Assistant Superintendent Michael J. Pfifferling said the lease would cost $90,000 annually with two, two-year options for renewal. The Temple previously leased the classrooms to Bradford Christian Academy for four years.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini, citing a New York Times report claiming city populations are decreasing, questioned whether there would be a need for more classroom space further down the road. However, Committee member Gail Sullivan said she doubted that would be the case for Haverhill and actually that isn’t really the point.

“I think we’d be in dream world to think the population isn’t going to grow if we keep approving hundreds of places for people to live in, but, it’s more than that. It’s that you want to intervene as early as possible with our children, so it isn’t simply whether the population will grow or not,” Sullivan said.

The Committee agreed and, with the condition the city could cancel after three years if the space was deemed no longer necessary, passed the request unanimously.

Comments are closed.