By Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
The proposed new Pickering Middle School in Lynn took another step toward reality Monday, when state officials approved of LeftHand LLC, as the city’s project manager for the new school building project.
LeftHand LLC employee Lynn Stapleton, is currently working on behalf of the city as project manager of the Thurgood Marshall Middle School project on Brookline Street, just a few blocks from where the current Thurgood Marshall Middle School project now stands.
The Pickering School project, like the Thurgood Marshall School before it, is an opportunity for the city to replace an older, inadequate school facility built near the turn of the last century, with a safer, more modern and more technologically advanced school building that can serve the children of Lynn better.
The Pickering School project is still in the feasibility stage with the Massachusetts School Building Authority, but selection and approval of the project manager means that the city can move forward with selecting an architect, reviewing potential sites and starting to design work.
City Inspectional Services Director Michael Donovan said this week that an architect for the project should be chosen by May, with site selection finalized in September or October.
Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy is already on record as saying that land across from the back side of Pine Grove Cemetery on Parkland Avenue, should be considered a prime location for a new Pickering Middle School, which is just a short distance from where the existing Pickering School stands today.
Pickering Middle School was built in 1917, with a maximum capacity of 613 students at the time. As of last fall, the school was home to 618 students and student populations across the city have been growing. Additionally, the existing school building is in dire need of repairs and has been leaking.