By Cameron Small
Hometown Weekly Correspondent
After an odyssey to get underway, the soon-to-be Walpole Middle School broke ground last Tuesday, November 15. The meetings, permit acquisition, funding, and decision processes are over as construction has officially begun. Current Bird Middle School Principal Edward Connor says the plan is for the new building to be ready to open and welcome students for the 2024-2025 school year.
Despite the chilly November weather, community members, state representatives, and current students gathered to commemorate the new building. As Walpole Superintendent Bridget Gough mentioned during her remarks, she was a student at the current Bird Middle School, years ago.
Bird Middle School will no longer be Bird Middle School after the new building is complete. The reason for this is because the split between Bird Middle School and Johnson Middle School will end. Instead of being a Bird Middle or Johnson Middle school student, future generations will simply be Walpole Middle School students. To symbolize the coming unity of the two schools, students from both middle schools led the gathered attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance after opening remarks by School Building Committee Chair Mark Breen.
After the initial groundbreaking, community members and students were able to also break ground. Some students complained the dirt and shovel were heavy -– but they still smiled at the thought of being able to say they helped break ground on Walpole Middle School.
Upon completion, the new Walpole Middle School will have its main entrance on East Street. The driveway leading to the back of the current building from Washington Street will stay and lead to parking areas for the new building.