Citing a variety of accomplishments, Peabody Mayor Edward Bettencourt announced yesterday that he intends on running for a second term in the fall.
The ongoing Main Street revitalization project is one first-term accomplishment that Bettencourt said represents only the beginning of downtown transformation, which he intends on moving forward with if re-elected.
“We will have made Main Street a more desirable location but the next step is to decide what we want our downtown to be,” Bettencourt said in a statement. “We cannot just try and copy our neighbors because Peabody is unique. We need our own vision, our own character and our own way forward.”
Bettencourt also pointed to the plan to replace Higgins Middle School as an reason why he should be re-elected.
The Higgins project has been in the works since 2006. After mulling over options through six years of site and feasibility studies, assessments, and public hearings, the School Committee voted in April to build a new school..
Last summer the $83 million new school proposal was approved by the Massachusetts School Building Authority. The state will cover at least 54 percent of the project's cost.
Bettencourt has said that if all goes well, the school should be ready by the 2016-2017 school year.
“A new Higgins is vital to Peabody’s future because our middle school program represents such a critical phase of academic preparation,” Bettencourt said. “I am committed to seeing the project through the design phase this year and then working to build a school which will best serve the educational needs of generations of Peabody students.”