Initially, there had been discussions of renovating the school, one of the largest middle schools in the country, McGeney said. “But then they determined that Peabody is worth a new building.”
Even at that, Peabody was tempted to try a new model school program, which would have had the city buying an architectural plan already created for another municipality, thus saving a significant amount of money.
“But the state kept an open mind,” McGeney said, and was convinced that the size of the Higgins population and the location of the school merited a unique structure.
Having a carefully designed new building, he said, opens up all sorts of new options in terms of how students are educated. “We’re really getting a fresh start, and everything is on the table.”
The planned school would house 1,340 students in grades six to eight, roughly the same population as the current building.
“Students will soon have a beautiful new space, which will undoubtedly enhance and improve their ability to excel in the classroom,” Jack McCarthy, executive director of the School Building Authority, said in a press release.