Artist rendering of the planned new middle school.

MSBA agrees to pay for a portion of new middle school for Holyoke
With last hurdle cleared, construction plans can now move forward

On Wednesday, June 21, the Massachusetts School Building Authority agreed to pay for a portion of the costs of building a new middle school for Holyoke, clearing the way for the project to move forward. This was the final approval that Holyoke needed in order to build a new middle school on the site where the William R. Peck School now stands.

MSBA has agreed to reimburse $46 million of the cost, leaving the City of Holyoke responsible for the remaining $40 million of the total $85,504,592 cost.

“With MSBA’s approval today, we can now move forward with demolition of the Peck School later this summer,” said Holyoke Mayor Joshua A. Garcia. “I very much appreciate the MSBA’s financial support of this project. I also deeply appreciate the support from my colleagues on the Holyoke City Council. Their unanimous vote of support on June 6 clearly demonstrates our shared commitment to help pay for and build this much-needed new school.”

In 2016, HPS hired an outside consulting firm to analyze the condition of all of Holyoke’s school buildings. The consultant concluded that Peck School should no longer be used to educate students because of the building’s aging infrastructure and poor original design that does not meet the needs of today’s students. That report became the driving force behind our efforts over the past seven years to secure an alternative to Peck School—and today we are able to finally move forward with a concrete plan.

When it opens in fall or winter 2025, the new middle school will serve approximately 550 students in grades 6-8.

“While there are many steps we must take between now and when the new middle school is ready to occupy in fall or winter 2025, today marks the turning point between our vision for Holyoke’s future and the reality that can now come to life,” said Holyoke Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Soto. “The time is right for Holyoke to build this new school, and we appreciate the support of everyone who brought us to this day. Our vision for Holyoke—this new reality for Holyoke—is only possible because people throughout our community believed our students need and deserve this, and they worked tirelessly both individually and cooperatively to help make it happen. Thank you, all.”