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A ceremonial start of construction of the new Dr. Albert B. Consentino School takes place Monday morning with the school chorus performing and talks by Massachusetts School Building Authority CEO James MacDonald and city and school officials.
The groundbreaking ceremony is open to the public, Monday, Nov. 20, starting at 10 a.m., behind the existing school at 685 Washington St. Last December, Mayor James J. Fiorentini gave a preview of the new school before city councilors voted unanimously to authorize about $160 million to pay for construction.
“The first thing the new school will address is overcrowding. The existing Consentino was built for 710 students. The proposed new school will be for 1,080 students. The new school will be a state-of-the-art facility that will allow for the most modern and up-to-date technology,” he said.
The ceremony takes place in the grassy field, roughly where the new school’s main office will be located. Work recently began at the front of the school on a temporary paved lot to accommodate staff parking during construction of the new school. The existing staff parking lot and the back of the property that is to contain the new school will be fenced off with the rest of the construction area once construction begins on the new school in early spring.
Students will attend the existing Consentino building until the new school is built and opens in early 2026. The 1969-era building will then be demolished and replaced with new athletic fields and parking.
The ceremony opens with the Consentino school chorus singing the National Anthem, followed by addresses by MacDonald, Fiorentini and school Superintendent Margaret Marotta and displays of architect’s drawings of the new building.
The state is paying about half—up to about $80.5 million—of the new school’s $160 million price tag. Haverhill voters at an election this past summer agreed to pay the city’s share of the project with a property tax debt exclusion.