Lt. Col. Daniel Herlihy, Deputy District Commander, joined local and state representatives at a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new, state-of-the-art Middle School on April 26 at the new facility located on Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts. The New England District and their contractor J&J Construction recently completed the 85,000 square foot school that can hold 312 students.
Erich Ledebuhr, Hanscom Middle School Principal, served as Master of Ceremonies. He introduced the dignitaries both on stage and in the audience. He also thanked the community and educational partners, students, friends and co-workers who attended the ceremony. “The design and development of the school was six years in the making,” he said. “The Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a team of personnel from the 66th Air Base Group and the Lincoln Public Schools have worked diligently to provide a state-of-the-art facility to educate the children of Hanscom.”
Ledebuhr said that the building is environmentally friendly and features integrated systems such as rainwater harvesting and solar hot water. Col. David Dunklee, Installation Commander, 66th Air Base Group, said that the new facility is, “really some building. It’s quite amazing.”
The Commander said that he got to witness the development of the school when it was just a piece of paper and a couple of sketches. He watched as foundation and infrastructure were built and when some of the dry wall was going up. “That’s when the term ‘awe inspiring’ came to mind,” he said. “Everywhere you look there is technology.”
Col. Dunklee said building a school like this as complicated as it is was no easy effort. “Putting together something this intricate is no easy task,” he said. “Putting it together on a tight time line is almost impossible. I’ve seen many Civil Engineering projects whose time lines continue to get pushed to the right, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and J&J Construction really did something amazing here.”
According to Col. Dunklee, the New England District had a hard deadline moving in children at the end of spring break and that 99 percent of the building was ready go to. “After that they’ll start working on the elementary school,” he said.
Other speakers included U.S. Congresswoman Katherine Clark and Lincoln Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rebecca McFall. Several of the Middle School students said a few words about their new school, indicating that they loved the standing desks and open spaces. Some talked about the new rock climbing wall and the music and art rooms.
After the Hanscom Middle School Select Choir sang, Ledebuhr, Col. Dunklee, Lt. Col. Herlihy, District Deputy Commander, Jonathan Braley, J&J Contractors president, Jennifer Glass, Lincoln Public School Committee chair and McFall all cut the ribbon marking the completion of the Middle School. After the ribbon cutting, tours were available to dignitaries that attended the event.
Dignitaries that attended the event included Ken Christopher from U.S. Congresswoman Nikki Tsongas’ office, Massachusetts State Senator Michael Barry, Massachusetts State Representative Thomas Stanley, Lincoln Town Selectman Peter Braun, and DODEA Brenda Gregorich. New England District team members were: Bill Scully, Scott Acone, Gary Morin, Gary Lacroix, Jessica Kidd, Sean Dolan, Steve Chase, Robert Leitch, Jim Conway, JoAnne Burnham, Mickey Clinard and Paul Paris. Team members who worked on the project were: Robert Leitch, Jack Perry, Jeanine Cline, Angela Frisino, Patty Bolton, Jason Paolino, Mark Godfrey, Matt Tessier, Tom Marcotte, Scott Flanagan, Sheila Harvey, Kirk Bargerhuff, Kate Atwood, Mark Desouza, Coral Siligato, Stephen Lehmann, Mark Lawrence, George Claflin, Loredana Caruso, Jessica Kidd, Steve Chase, Jim Conway, JoAnne Burnham, Mickey Clinard, Paul Paris, Dennis McEleney.