The ribbon was cut but Austin Herzog, who represented the high school students, and Claire Klammer, who represented the middle school students.
ADAMS, Mass. — The renovated Hoosac Valley Middle and High School is officially open after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday.
The $40 million renovation project broke ground in June 2011 after nearly three years of lobbying state coffers for assistance. In 15 months, the school's interior was torn apart and rebuilt with as many as 150 workers trying to make sure the building could be open for this school year.
The project is on-budget and was completed on time, according to school officials, which allowed them to open the doors to students on Sept. 7. As they did with the groundbreaking, officials invited the students to join in the ribbon-cutting.
"This is your building. It was built to serve your needs," Superintendent Alfred Skrocki told the students who crowded the gymnasium at Friday's afternoon ceremony.
The short time to complete such a "complex project" was a challenge, said Jack McCarthy, Massachusetts School Building Authority executive director, but it was all done with the best interest of the students. He reminded the students that their parents opted to raise their taxes "to invest in you" — a sentiment shared by nearly all of the speakers.
But the students cheered louder when McCarthy ended his comments with, "go Hurricanes, beat Drury."
McCarthy credited Skrocki with being the most important force in not only convincing the MSBA to pay $28 million of the cost but also following the project through from start to finish.
"This guy put his whole heart and soul into this project," McCarthy said.
MSBA chief Jack McCarthy received a loud applause after he told students to 'beat Drury.'
State Rep. Gailanne Cariddi, D-North Adams, said the MSBA is "one of the best run organizations in the state" and thanked them for turning the school into "a model for the commonwealth."
"You Hurricanes will love this school," the Drury graduate said.
School Committee Chairman Paul Butler also said the school is a model for the rest of the state as the district heads into a year of dramatic changes.
Not only is there a new building the middle and high school will share, but there has been a change in administrators — there is a new high school principal, superintendent and middle school principal.
"Hoosac Valley has become a school all others will be compared to and measured against," Butler said, adding that the building is a "$40 million statement that we believe in education."
The ribbon was cut by Austin Herzog, who represented the high school students, and Claire Klammer, who represented the middle school students.
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