Mayor Carlo DeMaria said he appreciates the unanimous votes cast by the School Committee and the City Council in support of a plan to build a new Everett High School.
DeMaria’s remarks came after the City Council voted unanimously at its March 13 meeting to submit another Statement of Interest to the MSBA for state funding for a new high school facility in Everett.
“I have been advocating for the state to support my plan to alleviate overcrowding across our entire school district and to increase our capacity to offer a more robust career and technical education program to our students by building a new high school facility in Everett. I appreciate the support from my colleagues on the School Committee and the City Council shown by their votes to approve filing another Statement of Interest (SOI) with the Massachusetts School Building Assistance Authority (MSBA) to help fund this important initiative,” said Mayor DeMaria. “I also took the opportunity last week in a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Driscoll to advocate for additional funding for the MSBA to approve more applications because of how important this project is to Everett students.”
The School Committee had voted by a 10-0 margin to advance the proposal for a new high school before the Council discussed the issue.
Supt. of Schools Priya Tahiliani appeared at the Council meeting to talk about the Statement of Interest being submitted to the Mass. School Building Authority (MSBA)
Councilor-at-Large Stephanie Smith asked Tahiliani if the submission of the Statement of Interest was required in the process after last year’s proposal was not approved.
“That’s correct,” replied Tahiliani. “What you see in front of you is almost exactly the same as the one submitted last year with some updates in regard to enrollment at the schools and the renovations we made in order to increase school space.”
Councilor Stephanie Martins asked about the timeline for the entire process.
“Last year, we submitted at around this time, and we found out that we were not accepted in December or January,” said Tahiliani. “Altogether, the estimate is that [the process] takes about 8-10 years,” said Tahiliani. “It is a pretty extensive process and actually I believe the City has gone through it in the past with other Statements of Interest – even in the last decade – so there are focus groups that are put together to determine what exactly the plan is going to be so you have a lot of community input.”
In terms of Everett’s bid for a new school being approved by the MSBA, Tahiliani told the Council that many gateway cities are overcrowded [in their schools], “and there’s only so large of a pot of money, and unfortunately the feedback that we did receive is the money is not going as far because of inflation rates.”