Haverhill Schools Accept Rent Increase at Former City Building Now Used for Maintenance Crew

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.)

Haverhill schools will continue to lease public property for use by its facilities department albeit with a bit of an increase in the monthly rent.

The building at 60 Brown St. is owned by the Haverhill Housing Authority which gave the school system a five-year lease on the property for a $1 per year. The lease expired last month and Assistant Superintendent Michael J. Pfifferling said the Authority agreed to let them stay until some other arrangement can be made.

“The Housing Authority has presented us with an option to continue to lease that building as a tenant-at-will. They’ve requested a payment of $1,500 per month. For that square footage, we have not been able to find anything in that price range,” he told the School Committee Thursday night.

A little surprised by the amount of the increase, Committee Member Richard J. Rosa asked if a longer-term agreement at a lower rate is a possibility. School Superintendent Margaret Marotta said the problem is the Housing Authority wants the property for its own purposes.

“The Haverhill Housing Authority is expecting to take the property back at some point in the future. They’re giving us a little bit of time to find another place. They do expect us to leave,” she said.

The property, which houses specialty maintenance staff and equipment, is adjacent to the Housing Authority’s Kennedy Circle housing development and was previously owned by the city. Committee members approved the new lease by a vote of 6-0 with Mayor James J. Fiorentini absent.

In a separate matter, the School Committee approved a donation from the estate of Sheila Anne Jameson, a former art teacher at the Silver Hill School.

Jameson’s family made three donations in memory of the much-beloved teacher who passed away last February. The assistant superintendent said Jameson left specific instructions for the distribution of those gifts.

“The first one is a donation of $2,800 to the Silver Hill School to be used by the teachers to add to their classroom experience as they see the best way to do so,” he said.

The estate also awarded a donation of $3,000 to the Parent Teacher Organization and a separate donation of $2,000, also to the PTO, to be used for its Winter Fundraiser.

Pfifferling said as everyone approaches Thanksgiving, they should include “thanks to our educators” who give even after they are no longer with us.

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