NMRHS Celebrates Topping-Off
Young adults in the communities of Ashby, Pepperell, and Townsend are now one step closer to occupying the modern high school they deserve. SMMA-designed North Middlesex Regional High School celebrated its topping-off ceremony on Thursday, a milestone marking the structural completion of the new 181,000-square-foot facility.
Superintendent Joan Landers opened the event by thanking the various design and construction team, committee, municipal, and administrative members involved in making the project a reality, and contextualizing what the new facility means to the district.
“While leaving the high school last Friday—our first snow day—I noticed that the construction site was covered in fresh-fallen snow, with a backdrop of snow-crusted trees,” said Superintendent Landers. “I sat across the street for a few moments, imagining the new building filled with talented, bright, beautiful students, and I became overwhelmed with emotion. Thank you all for giving this magnificent gift and opportunity to our students, a clear message that they are loved by their community and beyond.”
The program, the first portion of which took place inside the existing high school’s gymnasium, was marked by the enthusiasm and energy of the students present. In addition to State Representative Sheila Harrington, Massachusetts School Building Authority Executive Director Jack McCarthy, and NMRHS Building Committee Chair Robert Templeton—who specifically thanked SMMA Project Manager Lorraine Finnegan and Project Architect Alan De Haan—several students were afforded the opportunity to give their perspective on the importance of having a 21st century educational environment.
“The new school will not only be a vehicle for academic success, but will also serve as a reflection of just what Pepperell, Townsend, and Ashby are all about,” said Kelsey Hale, Class of 2016 President. “There’s nothing that we, as a community, would not do for one another, and I believe that the hard work going into the new building proves this to be very true. On the grounds of NMRHS, there’s only room for more success.”
Members of the NMRHS Choir sang the school’s alma mater as the final beam—accompanied by U.S. and Commonwealth of Massachusetts flags, as well as the traditional evergreen tree—was hoisted into place. The new North Middlesex Regional High School is designed to accommodate approximately 870 students and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2017.