To the editor: 

The letter published on Tuesday about the East Gloucester and Veterans School building process (”City shouldn’t force new projects on its citizens, Jan. 14,”) was factually incorrect.

The project has been underway since 2014. That’s when architects studied all of Gloucester’s elementary schools (not including West Parish, which was under construction) and determined that a new school building was needed. In 2016, the School Committee applied to the state for help to build the new school. In 2017, the City established the East Gloucester/Veterans School Building Committee to help oversee the project. In the same year, the City Council voted for a study to determine the best site for the new school.

In all, more than 30 public meetings of the School Building Committee, School Committee and City Council have been held about the project since 2014, including meetings at all five elementary schools. Dozens of articles and letters have been published about it in the Gloucester Times. The City of Gloucester and School Building Committee both have websites with hundreds of pages of documents about the project available for anyone to read. The City’s website has information about the project in English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

If some people don’t support building a new school to replace two aging, deteriorating schools that were built after World War II, that’s their choice. If they decide not to attend any of the more than 30 public meetings that have been held so far, that’s OK. If they choose not to use their computer to google “Gloucester school building project” to find multiple websites and easily available articles and information about the project, that’s up to them.

But if that’s their choice, it’s irresponsible to make incorrect claims to other Gloucester residents about a project that has been open and public from its start more than five years ago.

John McElhenny


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