A groundbreaking ceremony for the new Powers Elementary School will be held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23 at the former site of Harris Elementary School on South Lake Street, next to Amherst Junior High.
“This day has been more than 18 years in the making,” said district superintendent Steven Sayers. “So many Amherst community members have come together over the years to help us ensure a better learning environment for our students and we want to celebrate that hard work.”
The new elementary school will be wired for 21st century technology, offer open spaces for collaborative learning, and provide the flexibility Amherst Schools will need to adapt as education changes in the future, Sayers said in a release.
Combining grades under one roof instead of two will be more cost-effective and help the district stretch its projections of financial stability through at least 2022, treasurer Barbara Donohue has said.
“The new Powers Elementary will provide our youngest students the opportunity to learn in a 21st century environment, fostering the skills they will need to compete in Amherst and around the world,” said Teresa Gilles, president of the board of education. “It’s all thanks to our wonderful community, and we hope to see as many in attendance as possible.”
Amherst Schools taxpayers passed a bond issue in November 2016 to build a new elementary; to demolish Harris, the current Powers Elementary, and the long-closed Shupe Elementary; and to upgrade heating and cooling systems at Nord Middle and Steele High schools.