Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


October 4, 2012

Breaking ground

The construction began months ago with a new entrance road. On Tuesday, students were peering through a safety fence to see workers pour concrete footings for the building. But today, Thursday, it will really be official.

With the typical pomp, circumstance and speeches, the new Bancroft Elementary School will have its ground-breaking ceremony.

The event holds greater meaning than is typical because for much of the previous school year a lawsuit by neighbors had stopped the project. If a settlement hadn’t been reached, said Tom Deso, building committee chairman, the case might have been in the courts for two years.

“We had a period of time here for several months where we really wondered, ‘Are we going to get this project done?’” said Deso, who worried that at some point the state might pull its money from the project. “This is a symbolic moment. This is a big moment for the town. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people.

“Now we know we’re going to have a new Bancroft School. Two years from now all the students of Bancroft will be going into a brand new school, and that’s pretty exciting,” he said.

In a morning ceremony today, every student at Bancroft Elementary – wearing little, plastic hard hats – will have a chance to pick up a shovel and turn over some dirt that will be used in the project. They’ll sing the Bancroft song and hear something that they’ve probably never heard before.

“At the end of the ceremony we’re going to ring the Bancroft bell [in the school’s eastern tower] which hasn’t been run in many, many years,” said new Principal Mal Forsman.

The public is invited to a noon ceremony at the construction site, which will include singing by students in the fourth and fifth grade and the official ground-breaking.

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