An announcement was released from the Mayor’s Office today confirming that the opening day for staff and students at the new Central Middle School will be Monday, October 21. Please see below for the text of the Mayor’s announcement:
Mayor Thomas Koch and School Superintendent Richard DeCristofaro announced today that the new Central Middle School, first discussed by City leaders nearly a half-century ago, will welcome its first students on Monday, October 21.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held on Sunday, October 20, and the public is invited to attend to see the $32 million state-of-the-art new building for the first time. Mayor Koch and Superintendent DeCristofaro are also planning a special event to welcome students on the following Monday, and will be announcing those plans in the near future.
“This is a moment a long time coming, and a great testament to what can be accomplished when we come together as a community for a common goal. I am profoundly grateful and proud of the work of our City Council, our School Committee and Dr. DeCristofaro’s team, our Building Committee and the construction team, and our State leadership past and present whose commitment to our future and our young people has made this first-class school possible,” said Mayor Koch.
Technology equipment — including interactive smart-boards — and classroom furniture has been set up, and teachers and staff will have ample time to learn the ins and outs of the new building in the next few weeks prior to the opening, Dr. DeCristofaro said. Construction fencing is starting to be removed, revealing the full breadth of the new school’s most prominent architectural feature, the media center rotunda overlooking Merrymount Park.
“The great progress being made every day is now revealing a truly exceptional school building and a truly exceptional learning environment for our students for many years to come,” said Dr. DeCristofaro. “The teachers and staff are thrilled to be getting in the building and getting it fully ready for students on the 21st.”
The original Central was built in 1894 as Quincy’s first high school, but was converted to a junior high in the 1920s when a new Quincy High opened. The building has been discussed for replacement since the early 1970s. In the 1980s a steel beam was installed to shore up the building’s roof as a temporary measure, and the building’s condition was the prime motivator for a citywide school siting process in the mid-1990s that ultimately led first to the construction of a new Quincy High School.
At the request of Mayor Koch, contractors have removed a portion of an original granite portico from the current building, and it is now being incorporated into the new Central.
The new school is being built with 80 percent reimbursement from the Massachusetts School Building Authority, the highest state reimbursement rate possible after the Koch administration worked with the MSBA to involve the project in the state’s Model School Program. Central will be the first middle school in the state to be built under the model school program.