Assistant Superintendent Dr. Thomas Stella told the Everett School Committee on Monday night that the Massachusetts School Building Authority voted on March 25 to invite the George Keverian School into their Eligibility Period, essentially accepting the school district’s Letter of Interest from last year, and giving the school district and the City of Everett about nine months to prove that the city is ready to take on the challenge of new school or school expansion project.
“There are several things that the city will have to do now, over the next several months in order for this project to move to the point where the state could vote to award money,” explained Stella. “But this is a positive step.”
“The city will have to show to the state it’s financial readiness to take this project on. . .the Mayor will have to appoint a School Building Committee and the city will have to take a vote on whether or not to support a new school project,” added Superintendent of Schools Frederick Foresteire. “If those things are accomplished, the SBA could vote to place us into the feasibility study phase.”
Foresteire added that all of this likely means that the city is still “at least a couple of years away” from being able to start construction of a new or expanded Keverian School, but at least the MSBA vote takes the project from interest and concept phase to determining readiness and willingness.
According to Stella, the next steps are for the city to sign a Letter of Compliance with the MSBA, regarding the process that will be followed, Mayor Carlo DeMaria must appoint a local School Building Committee and the school district must provide certain enrollment data to the MSBA all before July of this year.
The most recent elementary school building projects in Everett were the construction of the George Keverian School in 1999, the construction of the Lafayette School in 2003 and the construction of the Madeline English School in 2004. Those were followed by the construction of the new High School at Glendale Park, which was completed in 2007.
Everett’s Letter of Interest in a school building or expansion project at the Keverian School has been driven by the district’s unprecedented enrollment growth over the last several years, which has meant overcrowding in nearly every Elementary School in the city, but a situation at the Keverian School which is far worse than at other schools in the city.