Jack McCarthy, MSBA: “They Believe in You.”
By John Anderson
On a blustery cold Thursday, folks gathered under a tent on the western side of the new Auburn Middle School for the Official Groundbreaking. Work at the site has been underway for over a month, but the official event was planned for weather warmer than March. That didn’t work out so well.
Superintendent Maryellen Brunelle welcomed the guests, “In the fall of 2015, we will open a state-of-the-art educational facility that will well serve the middle schoolers of Auburn for decades to come.”
After the AMS Band and Chorus performed the National Anthem with soloist Kathryn Bernard, G8-AMS, four students led the Pledge of Allegiance with Superintendent Brunelle: Samuel Soloperto, G2-MDS; Elijah Lampano, G1-BM; Chiara Faiola, G5-PAK; and Matthew Adams, G3-JB.
The official speakers were Mark Imse, School Building Committee Chairperson; Jack McCarthy, Executive Director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority; Representative Paul Frost; and Jeff Lourie, Chairman of the Auburn School Committee.
The common theme from all the speakers was gratitude to the voters of Auburn. While the current Auburn High School took about a quarter of a century to complete, the new Auburn Middle School will take about 5 years, and that’s including the “what if” and “should we” discussions that occurred a few short years ago. Actual construction will be about 17 months.
Mr. McCarthy asked the students to give a round of applause for the adults in the audience, “They believe in you.”
All the children participating in the pledge, speeches, and groundbreaking were selected by essays written at the elementary and middle schools. From the prompt “The new Auburn Middle School will be great because…..” given to students and Bryn Mawr and Mary D. Stone, MDS kindergartener Griffen Nashold started it off, “…. I think the gym is nice. I like the rocket in the middle.” BM 2nd grader Alexis Nordman said, in part, “I will play the clarinet at band and I will work hard in school. After school I will go to Crystal Caves and get ice cream with my friends…”
The prompt “I am proud we are building the new Auburn Middle School because….” was given to students at Pakachoag and Julia Bancroft. PAK 4th grader Lydia Kirkorian wrote, “…. I feel our town puts kids’ education before themselves.” JB 5th grader Corrie Hammond spoke, “This will provide more opportunities for the future children of Auburn, such as a better environment to study and learn.”
Maura Anish, a 6th grader at AMS, was the final student to read, “In conclusion, the new Auburn Middle School will change the whole town’s view of a good education system.”
Site work did not cease as the ceremony occurred, and that reflects the tight construction schedule. Superintendent Brunnelle recognized the Owner’s Project Manager: Skanska USA Builders; the architect/designer: Lamoureux-Pagano and Associates; and the construction manager: Fontaine Brothers, Inc.
Prior to grabbing the gold shovels, Brunelle said, “… I sincerely thank the Auburn voters for their support……I look forward to welcoming you back to the ribbon cutting in the fall of 2015!”
Along with the dignitaries, five students were included in the groundbreaking: Julia Rocheford, G1-MDS; Beckham Chouinard, K-BM; Lily-Ann C’Miel, G3-PAK; Carlee Joncas, G4-JB; and Marika Renner, G6-AMS.
This was a proud moment for the Town of Auburn and Auburn Public Schools.