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High school and community college could combine campuses in Massachusetts

Massachusetts high school and community college might combine campuses
Massachusetts high school and community college might combine campuses 00:26

HAVERHILL - A high school and a community college could eventually combine campuses in northeastern Massachusetts.

Governor Maura Healey said her administration is looking into possibly merging Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School and Northern Essex Community College on NECC's campus in Haverhill.

The two schools are currently about 10 minutes apart from each other.

New Whittier Tech needed

Back in January, a proposal to build a new Whittier Tech in Haverhill was rejected by 10 of the 11 Massachusetts cities and towns it serves. The current school is 51 years old.

A new school would have cost about $444 million. The 11 communities would have been responsible for 40 percent of that cost.

"Our administration knows that a new, modern facility is needed for Whittier Tech, but we also understand the communities' concerns about cost," Healey said in a statement. "In the coming weeks, our administration will be engaging with local officials to provide information about this vision and receive their feedback."

Several northern Massachusetts towns affected

Voters in Amesbury, Georgetown, Groveland, Ipswich, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury and West Newbury all voted against the plan for a new Whittier Tech. Haverhill, where the school is located, was the only town to vote in favor.

Whittier Tech currently has 22 different programs for more than 1,200 students.

"With better paying jobs requiring some kind of postsecondary education and training, exploring an innovative shared campus model has tremendous potential for students, families, communities, and the regional workforce needs of the Merrimack Valley," said Northern Essex Community College President Lane Glenn.

Whittier Tech Superintendent Maureen Lynch said she's "excited about the possibility of working with NECC." 

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