Seven years and $32 million in renovations later, Haverhill High still has 31 classrooms that aren't wired for Internet service.
Superintendent James Scully said that is a major problem, with the new school year about to begin.
"In the year 2011, not being able to connect to the Internet is unacceptable," Scully said. "The whole technology issue at the high school has not been addressed."
This fall, Scully and the district's Information Technology Department will launch a two-year, $1.6 million project. He said it is designed to make Haverhill High the district's most technologically advanced school, while at the same time improving network connections through the city's elementary and middle schools.
Work this year will focus primarily on improving the high school's network by adding more wireless receivers, rewiring classrooms and improving connection speeds, Scully said.
During the previous seven-year high school renovation project, the district spent $20,000 on a fiber-optic connection, but a poor installation by an outside contractor resulted in dropped connections and slow speeds, school officials said.
Scully said he tried to log onto the high school's website from a computer inside the school, but was unsuccessful even though he spent 10 minutes.
"The students are not happy they can't use the Internet the way they're used to," he said. "They don't have access to the outside world. It's a shame to let this go another year."
School Committee member Paul Magliocchetti agreed with Scully's assessment, and said Haverhill High must improve its technology before renovations are finished there.
"We can't say that the high school is complete," he said.
Pamela Carr, director of information technology for both the school district and the city, said her department plans to improve wireless connections for the Greenleaf, Moody, Tilton, Consentino, St. James and Greenleaf schools, along with Haverhill High.
Doing some of the work will be difficult because the elementary buildings were built using thick concrete walls that block wireless signals, she said.
Before going forward with the projects, the district still has to arrange funding. Mayor James Fiorentini, chairman of the School Committee, suggested the School Department request Haverhill use a 10-year bond to borrow most of the money needed.
Scully said he was considering the option, but added the district will examine other options.
In 2012, the district plans to make a number of upgrades to school technology, including giving new laptop computers to teachers and putting projectors and cable televisions in every classroom.
Scully said he would eventually like to see Haverhill High have it's own "service shop" that would allow students to fix their lap tops at the school.
Earlier this year, the district received a $100,000 state grant to buy iPods for math and English classes at Pentucket Lake and Tilton elementary schools.