Predicting the hope for a new high school could be 8-10 years away

Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani shown speaking to the council about the possibility of a new high school Monday night. (Photo by Josh Resnek)

By Josh Resnek

A resolution requesting authorization for the Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani to submit a Statement of Interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority passed unanimously Monday night at the city council meeting.

The measure scored a 9-0 vote.

The statement will be submitted post haste. To that extent, Tahiliani will be expressing the city’s interest in building a new high school with the intent to eliminate/prevent current and future overcrowding in the Everett Public Schools with a detailed request.

The EHS facility has a present student population of 1,800, a full 440 students over capacity.

This was the second time Tahiliani has been asked to submit such a proposal.

Last year, she made such a submission only to be informed in January that Everett had not been chosen by the school building authority for a new high school.

The new high school the city is seeking is believed to cost about $500 million.

The city will have to come up with approximately 50% of that total.

Councilor Stephanie Martins asked Tahiliani how long the process could take get a new high school approved and to get it built.

“At this point, about 8 to 10 years,” Tahiliani told the councilor.

The post approval protocol would include focus groups, site location choices, quote gatherings, speaking with architects, consultants and project managers.

“We would get walked through the project once it is accepted,” she told the council.

Councilor Richard Dell Isola asked Tahiliani if using modular classrooms the city would be given a stronger chance of the new high school being approved.

“I don’t think so,” Tahiliani replied. “By law we’re supposed to provide adequate space anyway. Many Gateway cities like Everett are overcrowded. But there is only so large a pot of money in the state coffers for new schools. Money is not going as far because of inflation. The School Building Authority is not able to approve as many projects as they had hoped. We’re not the only school district that needs space,” she added.

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