SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 24, 2013

New Peabody middle school wins final OK

PEABODY — Never was heard a discouraging word as the City Council gave a unanimous final vote approving a new $92.6 million middle school last night.

“I get very excited when I think of what we can have four years down the road,” said Mayor Ted Bettencourt, who has strongly endorsed the project while working carefully to garner both backing from Peabody residents and financing from the state. “I feel very fortunate,” he added, “to have a City Council that is supporting this municipal project.”

Thanks to the Massachusetts School Building Authority the city’s share is likely to be about $49 million. In addition, Peabody can expect to pay up to $36 million due as the cost of borrowing.

The old Higgins Middle School, built in 1964, will remain open during construction and then be demolished with sports fields designated for the site. Once the new structure is completed it would consist of two buildings, connected by walkways. One building will be three stories tall, housing a grade at each level.

School Committee member Beverley Griffin Dunne, the leader of the building committee, read a letter from Superintendent Joe Mastrocola, who was absent, attending his daughter’s graduation. He told the councilors, “Your legacy with this project will resound for years to come.”

Speaking for herself, Griffin Dunne predicted, “We’ll have the best public education that Peabody can provide.” She praised the council for its “attention to details” of the project.

Also absent on business, Councilor Dave Gravel sent a letter announcing his support. He praised Bettencourt’s work in attaining a maximum of state dollars.

Councilors and former school board members Jim Liacos and Mike Garabedian noted the ease with which this plan has proceeded and they contrasted it to difficult past campaigns of school advocates promoting building projects like the Brown and Carroll schools. Likewise, an effort to build a new high school more than a decade ago was short-circuited and replaced with a renovation plan.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Comments Tracker