BEVERLY — Northshore Recovery High School, the state's first high school for students recovering from addictions, is looking for a new home.
The school has been in the basement of the Memorial Building on Cabot Street since opening to much fanfare in 2006. Last month, it began advertising for bids for a new location.
"We've doubled our population in the last couple of years," school director Michelle Lipinski said. "We're ready to get out of the basement."
Lipinski said the North Shore Educational Consortium has received a couple of offers for new locations but said she could not disclose the sites.
Northshore Recovery serves about 70 students from across the North Shore, including from Gloucester and Cape Ann's towns, with a history of substance abuse. The school is run by the North Shore consortium and is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and a $12,000 tuition paid by the student's home district.
In September, the Department of Public Health approved a $2.4 million, five-year grant for the school, ensuring its immediate future.
The Northshore Education Consortium has been paying the Beverly Public Schools $125,000 per year in rent for the space at the Memorial Building, the former Memorial Middle School.
Superintendent Marie Galinski said Recovery High School will stay at Memorial until January. The lost rent revenue will come out of the school budget, she said.
The Memorial Building is also used for school and city offices. The city of Beverly will continue to rent space to the Northshore Education Consortium in McKeown School on McKay Street for other programs.
"We've very happy with the Beverly Public Schools," Lipinski said. "We've had a great relationship."
The state announced the creation of the recovery school during a press conference at the Memorial Building in April 2006. Then-Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, a Beverly resident who was instrumental in the formation of the school, attended the opening along with other state and local officials.
The state has since opened recovery high schools in Springfield, Boston and Brockton.
Northshore Recovery has attracted national attention. Last year, it was featured in a documentary on Current TV. Lipinski, who has been the school's director since its inception, appeared last month on "Anderson," a talk show hosted by Anderson Cooper. "NBC Nightly News" is coming to Beverly next week, she said.
"We're trying to get the word out that recovery is an option with these kids," Lipinski said.
The school allows students to take courses they would take at their home schools in "a high school environment free from the culture of drugs and alcohol," according to its website. To be accepted, students must be alcohol- and drug-free for at least 30 days before admission and must also commit to an individual recovery program.
Northshore Recovery will hold graduation on June 6. Its last day of school is June 15.
Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or by email at email@example.com.