Holyoke and its public schools have received approval from the Massachusetts School Building Authority to allow the construction of two middle schools.

The announcement came Wednesday after an MSBA Board meeting on Wednesday. Board members voted to move forward with the design of a new building on the open block adjacent to the H.B. Lawrence School and a new building to replace the William R. Peck School on the existing site.

The board’s approval of the construction is now pending voter approval next spring.

“It has been more than 30 years since Holyoke has built a new school,” Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse stated in a news release from Holyoke Public Schools to 22News. “We are extremely pleased that the MSBA has voted to allow us to build two schools for our students. We believe these two schools will provide optimal access and space to meet our community’s needs. Our students deserve to have world-class educational facilities where they can thrive as they prepare to move onto secondary education and eventually college and careers.”

Holyoke residents, especially families of young Holyoke Public School students, are invited to partake in the design process at upcoming community meetings.

The first community meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 25 in the Holyoke Public Library Community Room at 6 p.m.

“I am very grateful that the MSBA has given this exciting opportunity to the City of Holyoke,” School Committee Vice-Chair and School Building Chair Devin Sheehan also stated. “The volunteers of the School Building Committee have been working for over a year to get approval for two new middle schools for the City.”

According to public school officials, there will be many opportunities for community input over the next eight months before Holyoke voters decide whether to construct two new middle school buildings.