By Taylor Giuffre-Catalano
During the December 20 meeting of the Revere School Committee, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Dianne Kelly, explained an updated timeline of the development of a new Revere High School.
â€œIn terms of a new high school update,â€ Dr. Kelly opened, â€œ…on December 12, the City Council voted to move the approval of schematic designs to a ways and means subcommittee meeting.â€ She explained that this updated voting meeting will not occur until â€œafter the New Year,â€ which means that Revere Public Schools â€œwould be missing the December 28 MSBA submission deadline.â€
Dr. Kelly added, â€œWeâ€™ve accepted that reality, and we are going to continue to do our work and move forward with the support of the Mayorâ€™s Office and everybody else to continue working toward this project.â€ She explained that the â€œnext stepsâ€ are â€œclarifying the funding for the project,â€ which involves â€œgoing back to the City Council with some more specific information.â€
The â€œbiggest challenge that we face right now,â€ explained Dr. Kelly, â€œis that we wonâ€™t have a funding agreement with MSBA until the design is approved [by the City Council].â€ She continued, â€œSince what we were hoping to submit at the end of this month wonâ€™t get submitted until the end of April, that means we most likely wonâ€™t have a funding agreement until around June.â€
This challenge â€œpushes the timeline outâ€ and raises the question: â€œDo we just let that timeline lapseâ€“ in which case we would be finished with the project a year laterâ€“ which would have some impact on the budgeting and the finances? Or, do we try to push throughâ€“ in which case we would have to try to come up with some money as a Cityâ€“ in order to continue that work without the funding agreement?â€
In the latter option, Dr. Kelly explained, the City would be â€œfronting some fundingâ€ so that development partners, Perkins Eastman, Left Field, and Consigli, â€œcan continue their work between now and April.â€ She noted, â€œWe met with the Mayorâ€™s Office on Monday about this. Weâ€™re going to meet with them again on January 9, and we should have a lot more information by then on where we stand, what exactly the next steps are, and which of those two scenarios are going to be the best for the City and best for the students.â€
Dr. Kelly concluded, â€œIt definitely felt like a little bit of a setback. But, as I said to the Building Committee in a meeting last Thursday: this is a hurdle that we didnâ€™t anticipate, but we will overcome it. We are a resilient group. Our kids our resilient, our city is resilient, and no matter what, this will end up being a fantastic school. Something that we can all be proud of, something our students will thank us for, and something the City Council can be proud of.â€