New Construction

Massachusetts Elementary School to Open in October

The new Wareham Elementary School in Wareham, Mass., is scheduled to open its doors to students in October, months ahead of its original projected opening in January 2022. Officials announced at a meeting in mid-June that construction was so ahead of schedule that the project was on track for completion by Sept. 15. The school is slated to welcome students on Oct. 12, the Tuesday after the three-day Columbus Day weekend.

The 159,100-square-foot facility is set to replace two of the district’s elementary schools (Minot Forest and Decas) and play home to all of the district’s students ages pre-kindergarten through fourth grade. The two principals of the existing schools will serve as co-principals for Wareham Elementary.

Project Manager Chad Crittendon reported in August 2020 that town’s share of the price tag for the new facility would be $27.2 million, significantly less than the $38.6 million approved by voters.

“We were both lucky and good, with respect to how much this project cost. We were lucky because interest rates plummeted,” said School Committee and School Building Committee member Geoff Swett. “We were good, in the sense that when the time came to make some big decisions, we made the right ones. We would not have made the right ones if the superintendent hadn’t gone along with the recommendations of the project manager.” Swett also noted that the state will reimburse the town for 75% of the school’s cost.

Construction began in early 2020 and continued safely through the pandemic. There was no traditional groundbreaking ceremony due to the circumstances, but in June 2020, the town’s population was invited to sign the last steel beam that “topped off” the facility.

The project’s architect of record is the Mount Vernon Group.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].