This site is best viewed in Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or EdgeX

A map of NECC Haverhill campus, featuring an outline of the current and proposed athletic center

Northern Essex Community College (NECC) is exploring a public-private partnership to upgrade health and wellness facilities and programs on its Haverhill campus. 

Background

NECC’s health and wellness facilities, comprised of the Sports and Fitness Center (Building D, built in 1971) and several fields, do not meet the modern needs of the campus community. These facilities face an estimated $9M+ in deferred maintenance, including outdated systems, ADA accessibility shortcomings, and poor drainage of the fields. NECC has been approached by various organizations about partnerships over the past several years. 

NECC views vibrant athletic health and wellness programming as integral to student retention, physical and mental health, and the success of the college. 

Key Goals

  1. Advance NECC’s mission by better serving their students of today and the future with athletic health and wellness offerings.
  2. Enhance facilities in a cost-effective way.
  3. Develop better connectivity with the surrounding community to advance shared values and attract and retain students.

Equity

Northern Essex has long recognized the important role athletic health and wellness can play in recruiting, retaining, and helping students succeed, especially male students, who lag significantly behind female students in enrollment, persistence, and graduation rates. NECC is a unique community college within Massachusetts, and across the nation, in preserving and investing in these opportunities to expand educational access to our community.  

What is a Public-Private Partnership (P3)?

What is a Public-Private Partnership (P3)?

P3s are agreements between a public entity and third-party organizations that allow both parties to achieve common goals in a cost-effective way. NECC is working with the Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) to seek authorization from the State to pursue a P3 agreement.

Potential Partnership

Potential Partnership

A long-term ground lease of the site could attract a development partner to be responsible for designing, permitting, financing, and constructing the improvements, while NECC avoids those capital costs and retains primary use rights in the upgraded facilities. It is expected that an entity with an aligned mission, financial capability, and significant development experience represents the most feasible partnership opportunity for NECC.

Timeline and Next Steps

Timeline and Next Steps

Outreach and engagement through Winter 2023; a Public Hearing date is TBD 

If authorized, an RFP will be crafted and partner selection with take place through a competitive disposition process.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is this going to happen?

When is this going to happen?

Construction is unlikely to begin before 2026.
RFP – 2023-24;
Selection and negotiation – 2024-25;
Partner design, financing, and permitting – 2025-26.

Who is going to be the development partner?

Who is going to be the development partner?

There will be a competitive process to find the partner with the best proposal. Proposals will be evaluated by how well they achieve NECC and Commonwealth goals, and their feasibility.

Will student fees go up?

Will student fees go up?

A key goal of this project is to develop the facilities in a cost-effective way. Raising fees is not being considered to offset capital expenditures.

Will this limit access to parking?

Will this limit access to parking?

The development partner will be responsible for designing the project, getting it permitted, and ensuring that it won’t interfere with ongoing campus operations, including parking and access to campus.

How can I submit comments?

How can I submit comments?

A public hearing will be scheduled soon. If you cannot attend that meeting, there is a form below you may use to submit a comment.

Who will be responsible for permitting?

Who will be responsible for permitting?

The development partner will be responsible for permitting, financing, designing, and constructing the project.

What is so bad about current facilities?

What is so bad about current facilities?

In addition to accessibility shortcomings for persons with disabilities, Building D is outdated with lacking or inefficient systems, including no air conditioning in the gym. The fields suffer from lack of drainage, preventing their use for much of the year.

What kinds of third-party uses will be allowed?

What kinds of third-party uses will be allowed?

NECC is seeking a mission-aligned partner that will offer programs that advance the college’s mission. While the exact program will be for prospective partners to specify in their proposals, some potential third-party uses may include athletics, food service, childcare, concessions, community space, and open space.

Questions and Comments

Submit a Question or Comment

Submit a Question or Comment

Fill out my online form.
Print View
Get Maps and Diretions