City Approves Funding for the New Construction of the Francis M. Leahy School

City Approves Funding for the New Construction of the Francis M. Leahy School

           On Tuesday, February 15th, the Lawrence City Council voted unanimously in favor of funding the construction of the new Francis M. Leahy School.

            On behalf of the city residents and students, Mayor Brian A. DePeña’s proposed a plan to city council, that would pay for the new school without creating any local tax increases in funding the construction. Mayor asked the council to approve the plan utilizing the current ARPA funds, as unrestricted funds, to be placed into free cash and then used to pay debt services for a number of years going forward.

            The current Leahy school, which is approximately more than one hundred years old has long-standing problems such as: water leaks, leaky roof, storage problems and structural problems.

            “As our community continues to grow, our government understands the need for new schools in Lawrence, and I am very proud to deliver on that commitment,” stated Lawrence Mayor Brian A. DePeña.

            Mayor DePeña also sent his congratulations and thanks to City Council President Marc Laplante and the council on the unanimous vote by stating that “Education can come in many settings, and the City Council helps facilitate opportunities for lifelong learning. By bringing a new school to this community, they help to create community anchors that serve citizens for generations to come.”

            City Council President Marc Laplante said “This was a unique opportunity to fund the Leahy School expansion and renovation. Combined with last year’s vote to expand and renovate the Oliver school, the city is dedicating $234 million to upgrade our schools. More work must be done to manage our population growth as well as placing resources to do needed repair and preventative maintenance at all our schools. I’m hopeful we are heading in the right direction.”

            The city will have until February 24th to formally accept the available designated funds from the state’s School Construction Assistance Authority. “The new Leahy will give generations of children the exceptional space they deserve to learn and grow together, and benefit Lawrence families and residents for decades to come,” said Lawrence Public Schools Superintendent Cynthia Paris. “I want to thank everyone – especially those in the Leahy School community and Lawrence Teachers Union – who advocated so hard for this desperately needed project, and express my deep gratitude to Mayor DePeña, the City Council, the Lawrence Alliance for Education, and our partners at the MSBA for moving it forward.”

            The new school, slated to be built on Leahy’s current property, will have all new playground, indoor gym, science and technology equipment and labs, art and music spaces, and state of the art sized classroom.

            For more information on the construction of the Leahy School contact Lawrence Public Schools Chief Operating Officer Odanis M. Hernández at (978) 869-7170.

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