Watertown High Renovation Dedication
Dedication Ceremony for Watertown High School
October 14, 2011
This 56 million dollar project added approximately 33,000 square feet of new
floor area to the high school, provided for a new media center,
administration-reception area, instrumental music area, expanded guidance
area and a corridor was built in the courtyard area to improve student
traffic. This project also provided for new athletic fields, including multipurpose
synthetic turf field and handicapped-accessible seating. In addition,
the removal of asbestos containing materials was completed, renovation of
science labs, kitchen and food service facilities, auditorium, gymnasium and
locker rooms. New traffic circulation now better supports bus and parent
drop-off areas along with the addition of more parking area.
Once Upon a Time...
Our Dream Was Realized.
Thank you Citizens of Watertown.
Thank you all for coming tonight to the rededication of Watertown High School. I’d like to express my gratitude to all those who had a hand in the high school building project. By blending hard work and dedication with passion and desire, you have helped to make this wonderful vision a reality.
While the building itself is beautiful, we gather here tonight to celebrate more than a building. We gather together tonight to celebrate a community.
In 2005 Watertown High School was placed on Warning Status by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges in three areas including School and Community Resources for Learning. According to NEASC the community should provide the personnel, resources, and facilities to support the delivery of curriculum, instruction, programs, and services through dependable and adequate funding. After a tremendous effort by members of the Board of Education, Town Council, Public Buildings Committee and district administrators to inform the public and build support for the three school projects, the citizens of Watertown-Oakville spoke loudly and clearly in May 2007. By voting to renovate not one but three schools, our townspeople demonstrated their commitment to building strong schools that have become the heart, and the hope, of our community.
Once again Watertown High School is the hub of the community as there is activity here late into the evening on weeknights and nearly every weekend. High School students remain in the building well past the end of the school day receiving additional support for their classes, striving for excellence on the practice field, and searching for their passions through music, theater, and the arts. Younger children are here swimming in programs sponsored by Park and Rec or playing Pop Warner football on the Mills Complex. Local government officials hold meetings to decide on critical community issues right here in the Technology Center at Watertown High School. I believe that this school, this place, represents all that is good about our community. Thoughtful, committed people - resilient passionate people - came together to make this dream of a new Watertown High School a reality. As a result of this effort, NEASC removed all warnings from Watertown High School in February 2011.
Areas throughout the school recognize a variety of people that represent what I consider to be Watertown – Oakville community values - The name Brianna Antonio - a thoughtful, kind, energetic student taken from us far too soon graces the new courtyard. Dr. Philip Pelosi a dedicated former Assistant Superintendent of Schools who worked tirelessly on behalf of our students, standing in strong support of the Arts has these studios named in his honor. William P. Williams, an understanding former principal who spent over 20 years at the helm of the high school nurturing thousands of students is recognized in the library. The gym is named for Robert Cook, a former administrator and ardent supporter of athletics. And the Mills Complex is named for John J. Mills a local government official who served on a variety of boards and was staunchly committed to improving the town.
These people and this building represent the values of our community – honesty, hard work, commitment, competitiveness, pride. Our story, past and present, fills every inch of this new space.
As we come together tonight to recognize the past and present, we also look to the future. With the completion of the building project, Watertown High School has been transformed into a state -of-the-art facility. The building and grounds now support our work to ensure that all graduates of WHS acquire all of the skills necessary to succeed in the 21st Century. The impact of the new spaces, equipment, and technology can be felt in every curricular area across the school. The students and faculty at Watertown High School are tremendously appreciative of the wide range of improvements that have come as a result of the construction project.
Former Los Angeles Laker great Earvin Magic Johnson told us that "All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them." By supporting the building project, the Watertown – Oakville Community came through in a big way to provide the help and hope for our kids that he is talking about.
So tonight we come together to celebrate a community. We come to say thank you to all of the architects, builders, board members, superintendents, and others who made this a reality. We come together to celebrate the generosity and commitment of the citizens of Oakville and Watertown who stood up for the hopes and dreams of our kids. We come together to admire this beautiful building and all of the spaces, equipment, and technology that will help prepare our kids for the future. But most of all, tonight we come together to celebrate our community.
Special thanks to the following people who attended the dedication.
Joe Vetro, O&G
David King, Kastle Boos
Mary Colangelo, BOE
Jacob Irwin, BOE
Richard Beland, BOE
Thomas Lambert, BOE
Richard Mazzamaro, BOE
Guy Buzzannco, BOE
Elaine Adams, Town Council
Ray Primini, Town Council
Robert Porter, PBC
Gina Calabrese, past BOE chair
Robert Kane, State Senator
Sean Williams, State Representative
Karen Baldwin, former Superintendent of Schools
Tony Antonucci, former Professional Development Coordinator
Dr. Philip A. Pelosi, for Assistant Superintendent of Schools