en English
en Englishes Spanishpt Portuguesear Arabicht Haitian Creolezh-TW Chinese (Traditional)


Your Local Online News Source for Over 3 Decades

City Council approves to submit MSBA Application for new High School

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

  The City Council voted 8-0 to approve a resolution to authorize the Superintendent of Schools to submit a statement of interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) expressing interest in building a new high school, with the intent being to eliminate/prevent current and future overcrowding in the Everett Public Schools, during their meeting on Monday night at City Hall.

  The School Committee approved this request 10-0 at the March 6 meeting. According to School Committee Chairperson Michael Mangan, the district is almost 500 students over capacity.

  Councillor-at-Large Stephanie Smith asked Supt. Priya Tahiliani if the statement of interest was similar to the one submitted last year. Tahiliani responded that it is a similar application with the district’s enrollment updates and suggestions to increase school space. The district submitted last year’s statement of interest around this time last year, and they found out last winter that it wasn’t accepted.

  Ward 6 Councillor Alfred Lattanzi asked if Tahiliani could share the “involved” statement of interest with council members. She said absolutely and that it has already been sent.

  Ward 2 Councillor Stephanie Martins asked what the process looks like after the statement of interest is submitted. “The estimate is 8 to 10 years,” Tahiliani responded. “That includes obtaining community input, running a schematic design and choosing a site location.”

  Martins asked if the statement of interest includes a site location. Tahiliani responded that it’s just that – a statement of interest about building a new school.

  Ward 3 Councillor Darren Costa asked if the Pope John property was included in last year’s proposal. Tahiliani replied that it wasn’t since the school district doesn’t own that building. The Pope John site was also originally intended to address overcrowding in the younger grades, not at the high school level. However, they could revisit that situation, both at the City Council level and at the School Committee.

  Councillor-at-Large Richard Dell Isola asked how the site location is chosen. “There were several different plans and prospective locations that could have been used,” Tahiliani said. “By Massachusetts General Law, the municipality is required to provide adequate school space.”

  She continued that many gateway cities are overcrowded and that the MSBA wasn’t able to approve as many projects as they had hoped due to inflation. “We’re not the only district that needs space,” Tahiliani said. “There’s only so large of a pot of money available.”

  Costa asked if anyone has talked dollars and cents about building a high school with CTE programming at Rivergreen Park. She deferred that question to Chief Financial Officer Eric Demas. “If we’re looking at costs per student, using the bones we have in Pope John is the cheapest alternative,” Costa said.

  Smith recommended favorable action. The agenda item passed by a roll call vote, 8-0.

Contact Advocate Newspapers