New school celebrated at ribbon-cutting

Jun 12, 2022

The Wareham Elementary School campus had a carnival atmosphere Saturday for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new school.

While students have been attending class in the building at 63 Minot Ave. since January, this was the first time the school was open to the general public. 

To celebrate, officials and kids alike gathered for speeches followed by tours of the school, a bouncy house, popcorn, ice cream and touch-a-truck.

School Committee member Joyce Bacchiocchi said that the school is a wonderful example of what can happen when everyone works together.

Superintendent Dr. Kimberly Shaver-Hood gave a brief history of the Minot Forest and Decas Schools that the new elementary school replaced.

“Our two schools, Minot and Decas, served our children well for decades, but they were tired,” Shaver-Hood said.

The journey to a new school started with a School Committee vote back in 2015, she said.

“Student-centered, bright, warm, with a design that would be timeless: Our vision has become a reality,” she said.

Town Administrator Derek Sullivan brought his daughter, Nora, along for moral support. He said that when the school was being built, he drove by with his kids, one of whom asked “Is that a college?!”

Sullivan said that it’s amazing that the new school was completed under-budget and on time during the pandemic.

State Sen. Marc Pacheco said the building represents opportunity.

“I am so proud to be a member of a community that understands the importance of providing an education,” said Rep. Susan Williams-Gifford. “Not just an education, but a safe learning environment, a fun environment, and a state of the art environment in which they can learn and grow.”

Select Board Chair Judith Whiteside got the kids in the crowd involved in her speech, asking them to shout out ideas represented by the new school: Opportunity, excitement and legacy.

Kevin Brogioli, the chair of the School Committee, said he attended second grade at the olf Minot Forest School. He reached out to a fourth grade class to find out what they thought about the school. They praised the technology, colorful murals, the fact that the school “doesn’t look like a prison” and said it has the best views,

“My personal favorite: ‘It means that the town cares about us,’” Brogioli said.

Wareham Elementary School Principal Bethany Chandler pointed out another great feature of the building: air conditioning.

“I want to say thank you, thank you teachers for all you do here every day,” Chandler said.

Chandler said the school is attended by 950 students ages 3 to 10 years old.

She praised the many features of the new school: the innovation hub, gardens, tv studio, cafetorium and three playgrounds.

“On behalf of the students, faculty and staff of Wareham Elementary, thank you all citizens of Wareham for your generosity and support,” Chandler said.