Revere man arrested after fight at City Council meeting on new high school

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The scuffle follows weeks of debate over whether to build on the existing Revere High School site, or at the former Wonderland dog track.

A sign reading "Wonderland Greyhound Park" sits in front of a mostly empty parking lot.
The former Wonderland dog track in Revere, a proposed site for a new high school. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

Tempers flared during a Revere City Council meeting Monday night as one man was arrested for assault following a confrontation over plans to build a new high school. 

The altercation followed weeks of debate over whether to build the new school — which Revere students say is sorely needed — on the existing Revere High School property, or at the former Wonderland dog track. 

The City Council continued the discussion Monday night, meeting in a chamber packed full of community members. It was there that resident Wayne Rose allegedly struck another man on the face with his fingers, causing a “very minor cut which did not require medical attention,” Revere police told Boston.com in an email. 

The confrontation happened while the City Council was taking a break, WCVB reported. 

Rose was arrested and is facing charges of assault and battery and disorderly conduct, the Chelsea District Court clerk’s office confirmed. His attorney did not respond to a voicemail seeking comment. 

Wonderland vs. Revere High: A tale of two sites

The City Council voted in October to authorize Mayor Brian Arrigo to seize the Wonderland property by eminent domain, following that up with a January vote to approve Wonderland as the site for a new school, The Boston Globe reported.  

Last month, however, the former Wonderland owners sued the city, claiming the property was worth more than the $29.5 million Revere offered for it, according to the Globe. Also in February, the City Council voted against submitting the design proposal for the Wonderland site to the Massachusetts School Building Authority, which provides financial support for school building projects.

Wonderland opponents have cited concerns about costs associated with the eminent domain lawsuit, as well as the loss of potential taxes that the city could collect if a developer built on the site, the Globe reported. 

But proponents — like school Superintendent Dianne Kelly — have argued that Wonderland is the more cost-effective option, and that building at the existing high school site carries a number of logistical challenges, according to the Globe

Revere High School students are pictured mid-march, holding signs in protest.
Students from Revere High School marched from the school to City Hall Monday to protest the city’s decision to kill plans for a new school to be built at Wonderland. – Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Some, including Councillor Anthony S. Cogliandro, noted downsides with both sites.

“My risk has always been to take Wonderland off the tax rolls, and my stance has always been I don’t want this at the existing site,” he said during Monday’s meeting. “It’s never been about cost for me — I don’t care if it costs $2 billion to build this school; I care if we can afford it, and the truth is that we can’t. We can’t afford it at Wonderland, we can’t afford it at the high school.” 

He added: “We need to go back to the drawing board, because we need a school, and we need to be able to afford this school.”

Later in the meeting, City Councillor At Large Marc Silvestri proposed that Revere rework its plan for a Wonderland school to cut back on costs.

The intention, he explained, would be to “bring the schematic design back, shave some numbers off the site, and let’s get a high school built in the fastest time possible.”

That motion ultimately failed. Instead, the council voted to request that the existing high school site be chosen as the preferred option for submission to the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

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