The vote by both the City Council and School Committee to approve the submission of a Statement of Interest for a new high school to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) certainly comes as good news to both parents and students in Revere.
In the application to the MSBA, the reasons for seeking a new school – the current school being structurally unsound and overcrowded – leave little doubt that a new building is needed.
Revere has built several new schools in the last 10 years and the demand for spaces in the public school system still exceeds the supply.
Just last week, the School Committee approved a lottery for Middle School students knowing that some students will not be able to get into their first school choice. Superintendent Dianne Kelly said the lottery was necessary to prevent as many as 40 students in a single classroom. In that type of environment, learning is almost impossible.
No doubt there will be a backlash from some residents about spending more money on schools. In Lynn last week, voters overwhelmingly rejected building two new middle schools.
However, we hope that the majority of our city officials and residents consider what truly can be described as the tortured history of the construction of the present Revere High.
A report in 1953 by the Harvard School of Education unequivocally stated that the Revere High building at that time was outdated and needed to be replaced.
But politics and shortsightedness on the part of elected officials and residents alike created a stalemate that resulted in numerous plans failing to move forward over the next 20 years, until a new Revere High finally was built in the early 1970s.
Thus, Revere High students endured a decrepit, overcrowded, and outdated facility for an entire generation.
The bottom line is that, similar to the situation in 1953, the present RHS building is at the end of its useful life as a modern school facility. That is a fact that is beyond dispute, just as was the case in 1953. We trust that the majority of residents will agree that good schools only make Revere and their homes more valuable — and that we will not repeat the mistakes of previous generations.