The new school celebrated at the inauguration

The Wareham Elementary School campus had a carnival atmosphere on Saturday for the official groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the new school.

While students have been taking classes in the building at 63 Avenue Minot since January, this was the first time the school was open to the general public.

To celebrate, officials and children came together for speeches followed by tours of the school, a bouncy house, popcorn, ice cream and a touch truck.

School committee member Joyce Bacchiocchi said 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 began with a school committee vote in 2015, she said.

“Student-centric, bright, warm, with a design that would be timeless: our vision became a reality,” she said.

City administrator Derek Sullivan brought his daughter, Nora, for moral support. He said that when the school was being built, he drove by with his children, one of whom asked “Is this a middle school?”

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

State Senator Marc Pacheco said the building represents an opportunity.

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

Board President Judith Whiteside engaged the children in the crowd in her speech, asking them to shout out the ideas represented by the new school: opportunity, excitement and legacy.

Kevin Brogioli, the chairman of the school committee, said he had attended the second year of the olf Minot forestry school. He contacted a class of fourth graders to find out what they thought of the school. They praised the technology, the colorful murals, the fact that the school “doesn’t feel like a prison” and said it had the best views,

“My favorite: ‘It means the city cares about us,'” Brogioli said.

Wareham Elementary Principal Bethany Chandler pointed to 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 between the ages of 3 and 10.

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

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

Rufus T. Sifford