By Mayor Dan Rizzo
This past weekend, City and School officials, along with our bond counsel, outside auditors, and other financial consultants working on behalf of the city, hosted a financial summit to discuss the five bonds authorizations that were up for a public hearing before the City Council this past Monday night. There, Councilors learned what was contained in each order, and what the implication of these bonds would mean to the taxpayers. For over three hours, Councillors questioned the various participants about the impacts approving these bonds would have on our community. This meeting can be seen on Revere TV Channel 9 or by visiting their website at www.reveretv.org. I hope you get a chance over the coming days to watch the meeting where lots of useful and meaningful information came to light.
As a result, this past Monday night, in front of over 200 residents, parents, teachers, and school officials, the Revere City Council authorized over $50 million in bonds for the construction of a new school, stadium, roads, and parks, with over 60 percent of those funds coming back to the city in the form of grants, thereby saving the city over $30 million.
The approval of these bonds accomplishes many things; it will create and build a new state-of-the-art Harry Dello Russo Stadium, a new Sergeant James J. Hill School (formerly known as the McKinley School), develop parkland in West Revere by designing and building a new softball field and two new little league fields. It will also provide funding for the necessary land takings, and finally, if approved, provide a source of revenue to refurbish the existing McKinley School building that could ultimately be used for School Administration, as well as other public and private uses.
The positive vote taken to replace the stadium with an all new state of the art facility will be one of the best multiuse facilities of its kind in the region and will have a lasting impact on our community. In addition, it will help anchor our central business district and create business development opportunities for generations to come.
The McKinley School (now known as the Sergeant James J. Hill School) was approved and is being designed and built to hold 690 students at a cost of just over $42 million with close to 70 percent coming from grants through the Massachusetts School Building Authority. The new “Hill School” will also be a world class facility that is desperately needed in order to meet the ever-growing needs of our student population.
The land acquisitions, along with the costs for refurbishing the ball fields at St. Mary’s, were also approved. These new facilities located at St. Mary’s will be another way that we can provide premier recreational activities for our children.
It is my hope that the Council will continue their work towards revitalizing our central business district by approving the final bond of $2.5 million to refurbish the “old” McKinley School in order to turn it into a useful municipal office building. This too can help anchor our new downtown area.
Over 13 years ago, I personally made a promise to support and see through completion, the construction of five new schools; we all have a shared commitment and I believe, an obligation to the children of this community to do all we can to provide the necessary tools that will give each and every child the best chance for success in life. Good public schools across our city, especially in our central business district, will have a positive impact on our local economy for years to come. Property values will be influenced by the new schools and it is my hope that local business interests will also be attracted. The new recreational facilities at Harry Della Russo Stadium and the new ball fields at St. Mary’s will give our children room to play and grow.
Since taking the office of Mayor back in January of 2012, I have been committed to continuing the work, started by past administrations. I will maintain that commitment, as well as continuing to promote initiatives that I feel will make Revere a better place to live, work, and raise a family.