New facility brings Scituate school into modern age – The Patriot Ledger

A model new Gates Center School will substitute the 100-year-outdated intermediate school on First Parish Street.

SCITUATE – It marked the top of a 100-year custom and the start of a brand new studying plan for Scituate college students when the doorways of the model new Lester J. Gates Center School opened for the primary time this Sunday. Changing a run-down constructing on First Parish Street, the brand new 139,500-square-foot school is the image of modernity.

“This constructing is ahead pondering, but it honors the traditions of the previous,” mentioned former Scituate Superintendent John McCarthy. “This constructing is utilizing modern academic practices – there are going to be academics working collectively collaboratively in methods they’ve by no means labored collectively earlier than.”

Practically a thousand jittery mother and father and youngsters crowded round a microphone on Sunday afternoon as district officers and city directors hosted a ribbon-reducing ceremony for the brand new school, constructed as an addition to the south aspect of Scituate Excessive School. The mission, which was six years within the making and projected to value upward of $70 million, got here in on time and underneath funds.

“This constructing insures that we'll not be restricted by our environment,” mentioned Ryan Lynch, the school’s principal. “This constructing invitations and encourages studying. It'll pull us ahead, it engages, and that's what college students will expertise.”

About 700 college students in grades 6 by eight will begin school on the new facility on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Earlier than, the Gates Intermediate School was residence to solely seventh- and eighth-graders.

“This constructing displays what college students instructed us they wanted for his or her studying,” McCarthy mentioned.

After the ceremony, the entrance doorways of the brand new school had been opened and company eagerly streamed inside. “Oohs” and “Aahs” could possibly be heard down each hallway as mother and father and college students bought their first glimpse of blue lockers, excessive ceilings and model-new furnishings.

The entrance doorways open into the lunch room, a large area with two-story home windows and pure lighting. Past that's the fitness center, band corridor, choir room, black field theater and hallway that results in Scituate Excessive School. To the left and proper of the entrance doorways are locker-lined hallways and lecture rooms on the primary and second flooring. Off the cafeteria is a “motion studio” geared up with a ballet bar, stationary bikes, medication balls and extra.

The school is way from conventional. In efforts to foster collaboration and adaptability in area, typical lecture rooms have been forgone in favor of six “staff commons,” every made up of roughly 5 rooms. Every grade will break up into two “groups” and have class virtually completely of their designated staff area.

The rooms all have completely different options – some have full kitchens and others have inexperienced screens – and most characteristic detachable partitions. The courses are assigned neither a trainer nor topic – and educators can select what area they wish to use on a given day.

“Lecturers are supposed to have the ability to choose their room based mostly on what they’re doing that day to perform their particular person studying targets,” Lynch mentioned. “One other massive emphasis we have now is college students sharing their work.”

Every staff commons additionally has a “planning room” the place academics every have a everlasting desk, and small “collaboration” rooms, arrange like convention rooms, the place college students can work on initiatives in teams.

The school additionally foregoes different conventional areas – like a library. Gates Center School has a reference librarian who will assist college students with analysis and discovering supplies, however books are scattered on cabinets all through the varied staff commons.

“They’ve tried to group the books based mostly on what every grade wants, however the college students can get books from wherever they need,” mentioned Nancy Holt of the school constructing committee.

Gates marks the newest in a collection of recent constructing openings – together with the general public security advanced on Route 3A and library on Department Avenue.

“It looks like each week we’re down right here for a ribbon reducing... it actually goes to indicate the extent of funding the city is making in key, important companies,” state Sen. Patrick O’Connor, R-Weymouth, mentioned. “In these partitions, youngsters will goal for excellence, academics will encourage and desires will come true.”

The city permitted $54,072,788 in funding for the school in 2014, and $20,927,212 was offered by the Massachusetts School Constructing Authority. Levirne mentioned the projected ended up costing about $69 million.

Mary Whitfill could also be reached at

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New facility brings Scituate school into modern age - The Patriot Ledger