BY ETHAN FORMAN
---- — SALEM — “Making opportunity real requires action,” Gov. Deval Patrick told 200 business leaders packed in a ballroom in the historic Hawthorne Hotel yesterday, explaining his push for investments in education, transportation and infrastructure.
“I am also persuaded that opportunity also requires growth. An expanding economy needs well-prepared and competitive talent. It needs inventors and investors and innovators. Opportunity without growth is a zero-sum game, it’s just rearranging the pieces on a checkers board.”
Then he showed them the money, rattling off a long list of projects his administration has invested in on the North Shore, from the new regional technical school in Danvers to the parking garages in Salem and Beverly.
“We are not done yet,” said Patrick, announcing $32.9 million to modernize and expand Meier Hall science labs on Salem State’s campus. This announcement drew thunderous applause.
Patrick also highlighted a $20.7 million expansion to North Shore Community College’s Lynn campus.
When asked why he has placed such an emphasis on these investments on the North Shore, Patrick spoke about the need for education to spur opportunity and economic growth.
He also described the North Shore legislative delegation as “relentless.”
“My guess, if you add up all the projects — the court, the garage, the port, Salem State, the dorms, the library and now the science center — you are probably close to $400 million or so,” said state Rep. John Keenan of Salem. “No administration, certainly, I would gather, in the history of the Commonwealth, has made that sort of investment here in Salem.”
On a side note, when asked what he planned to do when his term is up next year, Patrick said: “I’m going back into the private sector.” He also quipped he did not know where he might be working, but if any business leader in the room had any ideas about jobs, come and see him.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.
NORTH SHORE PROJECTS The following are among the state investments in the North Shore's education, transportation and infrastructure advanced by Gov. Deval Patrick's administration. $133 million: Essex Technical High, Danvers $109 million: Michael J. Ruane Judicial Center, Salem $31 million: Health and student services building, North Shore Community College, Danvers $44.5 million: MBTA parking garage, Salem $34 million: MBTA parking garage, Beverly $73.5 million: Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons, Salem State University $23 million: Interchange improvements to Route 128 at routes 35 and 62, Danvers Just announced $32.9 million: Expansion of Meier Hall to add science labs, Salem State University $20.7 million: Expansion and modernization, North Shore Community College, Lynn