HOLYOKE — During its Feb. 20 meeting the City Council approved the next steps for the city and school district to potentially address roof replacements across five city schools.

Holyoke Public Schools Director of Maintenance Whitney Anderson joined the meeting to explain to the council the proposed agenda item.

The item sought permission for Superintendent Anthony Soto to submit statements of interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority for invitation into the Accelerated Repair Program for potential roof replacements at Holyoke High, Kelly, Sullivan, McMahon and Donahue Schools.

Anderson explained that the school department was looking for City Council approval as it is the formal process in sending out the statements on interest. This allows Anderson to file the statements of interest in an attempt to gain an invitation into the state program, which has an annual application process.

“We need your approval to file these applications and then from there, hopefully we will be invited into the program at which time we can study any of the total opportunities before us, depending on what they allow us to be considered,” Anderson said.

Anderson explained they needed an approval for each of the schools listed, totaling five statement of interest applications that would be sent to the MSBA.

“It’s always in our best interest to make as many applications as we can to see if they will be invited into their program,” Anderson explained.

At-large Councilor Howard Greaney Jr. asked what percentage would be reimbursed if any on a potential project through this program. Anderson shared the program offers an 80% reimbursement program.

“It’s a very hefty advantage to the city to take advantage of this opportunity,” Anderson said.

Anderson added the accelerated repair program offered by the state was specific to work on windows, exterior doors and roofs.

At-Large Councilor Michael Sullivan asked if the staircase outside of Holyoke High would qualify under this program. Anderson said it would not qualify for the program as it was too small of a project. He did add that unrelated repairs are in order for the staircase as during the school’s renovation work from 2009-2011, only a portion of the stairs were renovated and now it is time for another touch up.

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