CAMDEN – A groundbreaking ceremony was held Thursday morning, September 13, at Camden-Rockport Middle School, marking the beginning of construction of the new middle school on the grounds of the existing school. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2020.
The school’s entire student body donned hard hats and attended with school officials, architects and construction officials, along with town officials from Camden and Rockport. The brief ceremony lasted 30 minutes.
Jaime Stone, principal of CRMS said, “It’s a momentous occasion and I’m very excited.”
“There will be a series of speakers including a student speaker,” she said. “We’re going to sing the school song and several participants from the architectural company, our builder, school representatives and officials from Camden and Rockport who will do the ceremonial shoveling.”
Stone said the students themselves were excited.
“There’s been a nice positive energy, even though not all of our students will have an opportunity to be in the new building,” she said. “They have been really supportive. We’ve been learning the school song. Each year you get a new chant, so we’ve had about five days to learn the new chant for each grade and they have been pumped.”
The new school will be under construction while classes are in session. Some minor problems are expected.
“What we expect will be the biggest problem will be noise and vibrations,” said Stone. “We fit into what’s remaining of the building well. We’re cozy and we’re comfortable. We’re closer together which builds community. We’ve had a positive experience so far.” she said.
Matthew Dailey, chairman of the School Administrative District 28 School Board, said he was excited that this day has come.
“Almost my entire 11 years on the school board we’ve talked about what to do about the middle school,” he said. “This is a great day and I’m impressed with the turnout. There are a lot of people here who have been part of this project either as board members or community members and it’s good to see them all here to celebrate with us.”
Maria Libby, superintendent of the Five Town CSD and SAD 28, said she was happy right now.
“I’m feeling like it has been a long journey and I’m really happy to be at this place where it’s a ceremonial start to this project, and have it underway,” she said. “I feel like there will be a great out come for students. The facility will be beautiful and here for generations to come.”
Libby said it has been a long journey for her.
“It started when I was principal of the middle school talking to the board about the fact that we needed to do something and I have worked hard,” she said. “I think it would be naïve to think there won’t be some bumps along the way, but we truely have an amazing team working on this project, so I’m confident what ever bumps we hit, we’ll be able to work out.”
In later remarks during the ground breaking opening ceremony, Libby said that this building represents the final link in school system’s facilities.
“Our community has always shown strong support for education,” she said. “That is reflected in high quality staff, exceptional programming and support facilities at each of our schools. This facility is a testament to our children and our appreciation for the importance of education.”
Oak Point Associates is the design architect for the project.
Ledgewood Construction (https://www.ledgewoodconstruction.com/ ) out of South Portland is providing construction management and general contracting.