By John Anderson
Auburn Mass Daily got one of those urgent calls yesterday: “You’ve got to get down to the old middle school right away.” So, we did, and the sights and site were most impressive. Considering that the last day of school was Friday, the progress made at the 10 Swanson Road facility is nothing shy of amazing.
The Auburn School District is under a lot of pressure this summer and has a lot to get done. If yesterday is any example, Auburn students will be comfortably at their desks around Labor Day. The new middle school is reported to be ahead of schedule and on budget; words that make any taxpayer smile.
All of the desks and most of the other furniture from 10 Swanson Rd. were on the front lawn at 9:11am; a truck-mounted shipping container was quickly being loaded, the second one of the morning; and another container truck was standing by. Also on the property were a moving van, numerous contractor vehicles, and personal vehicles of teachers.
The shipping containers were not, however, destined for West St. where new furniture will await students in the fall. Through an affiliation with Institutional Recycling Network of Concord, NH, these containers are headed to New Jersey where they will be shipped to Spanish Town, Jamaica. The old furniture in Auburn will become new furniture in Jamaica.
Some of the kitchen equipment will also be donated to the Boy Scouts’ Treasure Valley Scout Reservation through this company. The reservation sits in three towns – Rutland, Paxton, and Oakmont, and Auburn Mass Daily will be doing a follow-up story on this donation. By many estimates, donating equipment costs far less than disposal charges for the same items.
There has been a lot of heavy lifting since Friday, and the professional movers from Sitterly Moving and Storage have been joined by inmates from the Worcester County House of Correction to get this done.
Inside 10 Swanson Rd., the classrooms are largely empty, and piles of materials heading to West St. are in the gymnasium and hallways. Many of the metal lockers have been removed to make way for the age appropriate cubbies for the grade 3-5 students. Downstairs, the cafeteria has been gutted and reconstruction has begun. Other areas being significantly changed are also well under way, and this is only day 4 since school let out.
Facilities Director Joseph Fahey was pleased with the progress so far, and he has apparently lined up a great team to complete this project. Auburn Mass Daily will report on the progress across town over the summer. Looking good so far!