Hunking Building Project
Periodically, we will be featuring some photos of the Hunking construction site through the lens of Carol VanDoren’s photo club at Hunking. Be sure to keep an eye on our Pictures page for updates!
5/1/15 — Spring Cleaning!
Well maybe its a little more than spring cleaning, but the crews are hard at work today readying the front of the school for the Goundbreaking Ceremony to be held Tuesday May 5th at 10am.
The stumps have been removed and the area graded in preparation for the ceremonial shovels to break ground
to officially kick-off the building project.
Out on the field the bulldozers continue to clear the area and remove the topsoil- to be screened and reused later on in the project.
Check back often to keep updated on all the things going on “under the hard hat”.
4/29/15 — Phase One
The first phase of the tree removal has been completed. It was amazing to watch those professionals cut down such large trees with such skill and precision.
Now the bulldozers are hard at work clearing out the remaining stumps and beginning to move the piles of loam and dirt for removal in preparation for the surveyors to lay out the markings for the footprint of the new building.
As this picture shows, the trees are coming down. Many have asked, “Why are you taking all these trees down?” The answer is: in order to clear the site of the excavation of the new footprint, as well as to construct the drainage swails that will help channel water away from the roadways.
During this process we found that most trees look like the one pictured here.
Most have hollowed cores, a sign that the tree is unhealthy. Approximately 85% of all the trees cut down were found to be in poor health and it was reported to us that within 3-4 years many of these trees would be dead and could possibly fall down posing a safety risk. Of the trees that remain, many have been pruned back to remove dead limbs that could also pose a danger to the new school and existing homes.
The workers have begun erecting the construction fence and we are well underway to making the dream of a new Hunking become a reality.
Please check back often for a “glimpse under the hard-hat” to see what’s happening with this project!
Our recent history
Site work about to begin
At its March meeting, the Hunking School Building Committee approved the 90 percent construction design documents necessary for work to begin at the building site.
Those documents have been submitted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority, which will reimburse the city for roughly 70 percent of the cost of the Hunking School construction.
The first evidence of work at the site will be the arrival of fencing and measurement markers. Shovels are expected to break ground in April or early May.
According to project managers, construction plans remain on schedule and on budget.
New members join HSBC
Mayor James Fiorentini has named several new members to the Hunking School Building Committee.
Most recently, School Committee member Susan Danehy accepted the mayor’s invitation to join the committee.
At its meeting on Sept. 2, the board welcomed Haverhill Chief Financial Officer Andrew Vanni, Purchasing and Energency Manager Orlando Pachecho, and local businessman Francis Bevilacqua III.
The board had lost voting members Accountant Charles Benevento and Purchasing Agent Bob DeFusco when they retired at the end of June.
David Van Dam and Robert Driscoll will no longer serve on the committee. Mr. Driscoll has been appointed to the Housing Authority.
Design documents offer peek inside school
Bright colors, plenty of windows and light, wide hallways and a welcoming entry. Those are features of the new Hunking School shown in preliminary Design Development documents created by JCJ Architects and shared with the Haverhill Public School Department.
The Hunking School Building Committee will be asked on October 14, 2014 to approve Design Development documents that will be submitted to the state.
Approval of the submission by the Massachusetts School Building Authority will move the district one step closer to full approval to begin construction on the new, 1005-seat Hunking School.
Haverhill school administrators and its architectural team from JCJ met through the summer and have chosen colors, furnishings and finishes for the new K-8 school.
The other component of the Design Development submission will be a comparison and reconciliation of cost estimates by the architectural and contactor-at–risk teams.
The project manager hopes to have the complete document submitted to the Hunking School Building Committee on October 8, 2014 in advance of a vote on October 14.
Haverhill School Superintendent James F. Scully recently sent a letter to Hunking neighbors saying groundbreaking for the school is expected in Spring 2015, with completion of the building’s construction at the end of 2016.
Superintendent Scully said he hopes to have students from the current Hunking Middle School building moved into the new Hunking in January 2017, after the 2016-2017 school year’s holiday vacation.
The Hunking Middle School building cannot be certified for use beyond Spring 2017, according to a number of engineers who have examined the structure.
Once all Hunking Middle School students have moved into the new building, the old Hunking will be torn down and work will begin on parking areas and playing fields, Superintendent Scully said.
For a complete set of drawings, click the links below:
The project’s history continues, below.
Where we’ve been
On June 10, 2014, the voters of Haverhill approved a debt exclusion to pay for the construction of a new Hunking School to serve 1,005 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
The state has agreed to reimburse the city roughly $40 million of the $61 million cost of the project, leaving $21 million to be paid by Haverhill taxpayers through a 20-year bond. The owner of the average Haverhill home will pay roughly $70 per year in property taxes to retire this debt.
The city and the Massachusetts School Building Authority entered into an agreement on June 4, 2014, for the scope of the project and budget approval, contingent upon the city’s passage of the debt exclusion. Once the official results of the vote are submitted to the MSBA, the state will sign a project funding agreement.
The June 10 vote also cleared the way for the city to enter the next phase of the project, known as Design Development, which continues into October 2014.
In the meantime, on June 16, 2014, the city received word from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that the proposed Hunking School design meets the space requirements set by the state for Special Education instruction.
On Tuesday, June 17, 2014, the Hunking School Building Committee voted to retain its Owners Project Manager and Architect, Joslin, Lesser + Associates and JCJ Architecture, respectively, to complete the Design Development phase and for construction administration.
The next meeting of the School Building Committee is July 22, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. in the school district central office conference room. At that time, the committee expects to vote on the contract for JCJ Architecture for the remainder of the project.
Below are documents related to the project from January 2013 through the July 2014.
June 16, 2014: DESE approval letter (154.2 KiB)
Click here to see the slide presentation on the proposal to build a new Hunking School that was shown to the Haverhill City Council on September 17, 2013.
MSBA Design Phase Approval Letter Page 2 (68.3 KiB)
MSBA Design Phase Approval Letter Page 1 (151.6 KiB)
How we got here
By James F. Scully
Superintendent of Schools
Upon my assuming my position of Superintendent in the 2010-2011 school year, I noticed that the Hunking School was not kept up well, and in fact, many areas of the school were filthy. I asked the maintenance department at the time to address the issues in the building and was not satisfied with the work in the school year.
Tom Geary was appointed as Supervisor of Facilities on July 1, 2011. I directed him to clean up the building. He did and when the building was set to open in late August 2011, it looked great for the new school year.
On the Friday just before Columbus Day weekend 2011, it was noted that cracks were beginning to enlarge at the Hunking School facility in certain areas of the building.
Concrete beams and supporting columns in the basement had deteriorated to such a point that the rebars previously encased in the cement had fallen to the ground below. Coupled with that, the electrical, heating and ventilation systems had defaulted as well.
During the summer of 2012, the City appropriated $400,000 to shore up the building. The project was completed on time and under budget at a cost of $335,400. The structural supports, as you can see from the photos, while originally slated to have less than 400 posts in place, we installed more than 400 posts. The structural engineer has reviewed the building and stated this work will allow us to use the building for no more than a period of four years.
Below are documents related to the period from Columbus Day weekend 2011 through 2012.