RHA says No to Land Swap for New Revere High School

It started with a motion from Councillor George Rotondo and ended with a clear message that the Revere Housing Authority isn’t selling any real estate to build a new high school.

At Monday night’s Ways and Mean Subcommittee meeting Rotondo discussed a motion he had made asking, “The city to look into the feasibility of building a new Revere High School in the Cooledge Street projects while simultaneously building apartment style housing for current and future residents.”

RHA Executive Director James Milinazzo, who is also a Lowell city councilor, said he and his board has reviewed and discussed the idea and they reject the idea, firmly.

He said 286 families would have to be relocated. It would cost the city upwards of $115 million just to acquire the land, and that doesn’t include the actual building of a new school or the cost to build housing.

Councillor Dan Rizzo said the new school cost could be $150-$200 million.

“We are working to preserve the housing that we do have,” Milinazzo said.

Ward 3 Councillor Arthur Guinasso said the motion was well-intend and Rotondo was thinking out of the box but, “I can’t tell you how opposed I would be to this.”

Rotondo was absent from the subcommittee meeting.

Ward 6 Councillor Charlie Patch opposed the idea too, noting that it was federal land upon which housing for WWII veterans was built.

“The cost of this would be enormous,” said Ward 5 Councillor John Powers, who hinted at maybe the city using a commercial piece of property for a new high school.

The subcommittee voted unanimously to place the motion on file.

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