Northeast Regional Vocational High School Committee member Anthony Caggiano is urging Revere residents to vote on Jan. 25 in favor of the new high school project that is being planned for the current site in Wakefield.
The referendum will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 25, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the St. Anthony’s Church bingo hall. New Elections Commissioner Paul Fahey will oversee the election in Revere. The other 11 communities in the district will also be voting on Jan. 25.
“The vibes that [Northeast] Supt. David DiBarri and got from Mayor Brian Arrigo and city officials is that they seem very supportive of the building of a new [Northeast] high school,” said Caggiano.
Caggiano said construction costs for the new school would be $317 million, of which the state reimbursement is $141 million. He said that Revere’s share of the project would be approximately $1.8 million per year for 20 years.
“The new high school would be built on top of the hill on the Northeast campus where the football field [Breakheart Stadium] is,” said Caggiano. “Once construction is finished, the old school would be demolished. We would then build new athletic fields on the site of the old school.”
The new Northeast Regional high school would have an enrollment of 1,600 students, an increase from the current enrollment of 1,300 students.
“Revere currently has the highest enrollment with 255 students from the city,” said Caggiano.
Caggiano is hoping that Revere residents turn out in big numbers for the Jan. 25 referendum vote.
“We need a big turnout from Revere,” said Caggiano. “This is a vote for a new school, but it’s also for our kids from Revere and the surrounding communities who don’t think college is for them – it’s for kids who are looking for a good start and a good-paying job in the trades which will allow them to provide for their family. That’s what this vote is all about.”
Although Northeast is known for its superb, vocational education programs, Caggiano said that many Northeast students go on and matriculate at four-year colleges.
The vote on Jan. 25 will be decided by a simple majority among the 12 communities in the district. “Basically, you need more than 50 percent to win,” said Caggiano. “To me, this is one of the most important elections we’ll ever have. Not the mayor or school committee, or councillors’ elections are not important – but this is about the kids.”
Rep. Giannino Supports Project
State Rep. Jessica Giannino represents three of the communities – Revere, Chelsea, and Saugus – in the Northeast Regional school district. While Saugus and Chelsea officials [notably Chelsea City Manager and former Revere Mayor Tom Ambrosio] said earlier that they would not authorize annual funding for the new Northeast Regional school project [thus necessitating the district-wide referendum vote], Giannino indicated that she supports the funding and construction of the Northeast Regional High School project and will be voting for it in the Jan. 25 election.
“While I appreciate the differing viewpoints over local funding for the project, the impact of having a new Northeast Regional Vocational High School for the students of Revere, Saugus and Chelsea will be life changing,” said Giannino. “Building a new school will provide greater access to vocational opportunities for students who are unable to enroll due to lack of classroom space, for students who are unable to finance higher education, and for students who have a passion for learning a trade, particularly for students from low income families. Many of these families live in the 16th Suffolk District. That is why I am proud of the significant state funding that will be dedicated to this project, and I will continue to advocate for greater state and federal funding to defray the cost of this project for the twelve communities that send students to Northeast Regional Vocational High School.”