HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) has agreed to partner with the City of Holyoke on a feasibility study to replace the William R. Peck School.

Holyoke hasn’t had a new school building since the 1980s. Holyoke voters rejected a ballot question to raise taxes in order to build two new middle schools in 2019.

The MSBA invited the city to submit a proposal for a single new middle school to replace the Peck Middle School after accepting the city’s Statement of Interest for a building project.

The City Council voted in February to bond for $475,000 to pay for a feasibility study. As part of its invitation for the study, the MSBA voted to proceed into the schematic design phase to replace the existing Peck School with a new structure to be built on the existing site.

According to a news release sent by the Holyoke Public Schools, the proposed new middle school is part of the department’s plan to reimagine its middle school program for students in grades 6-8. Holyoke is hindered by the infrastructure of its school buildings and inconsistent grade-level groupings in its 11 schools serving grades PK-8. Grade-level groupings will be standardized in Holyoke schools by fall 2023.