By John Anderson
Excitement was in the air at 9 West St. on Saturday morning. Most of the guests at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony had walked through the doors of the new Auburn Middle School for the first time, and they were in awe. Hundreds came out for the occasion, and they were not disappointed.
The building is incredible, the grounds are immaculate, and the excitement of the upcoming educational year could be felt by all, especially the students who will be attending Auburn Middle School in less than two weeks.
Superintendent Maryellen Brunelle welcomed the guests followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Abigail Frost. Lilly McLaughlin sang the National Anthem accompanied by a combined HS and AMS band.
Brunelle told the audience, “Believe it or not, it was a mere 486 days ago that many of us in this room gathered just a short distance away to celebrate the groundbreaking of this phenomenal structure…and we thought that was an exciting event, which it was, but it pales in comparison to today.” She concluded with, “We are humbled by your generosity.”
Aside from Dr. Brunelle, speakers included Mark Imse, School Building Committee Chairman; Jack McCarthy from the Massachusetts School Building Authority; Representative Paul Frost; Senator Michael Moore; George Scobie, School Committee Chairman; and Joseph Gagnon, AMS Principal.
Topics included a vastly improved school building process by the Commonwealth, the spirit of cooperation between all the project participants, and gratitude to the Auburn community. George Scobie summed it up nicely, “I couldn’t be more proud of this community, this town, this village.”
The group moved outside for the official Ribbon Cutting where Mark Imse wielded the ceremonial scissors. After several unsuccessful attempts to sever the ribbon, Superintendent Brunelle took out her office scissors and finished the job. Afterwards, guest toured the new facility and enjoyed some light refreshments prepared by the Auburn Food Services Program.
There are many who deserve credit for bringing this new school on-line in such a short time: the School Building Committee, the Auburn School Committee, the Auburn Public School District, Fontaine Brothers Construction, architects Lamoureux, Pagano & Associates, the owner’s project manager Skanska USA, and the Massachusetts School Building Authority.
The Auburn Taxpayers and Voters who supported this project from day one, however, deserve a great deal of thanks for having faith in the leadership of Superintendent Maryellen Brunelle and her excellent team including Joe Fahey who has brought management back to the Auburn Public Schools’ facilities.