Politicians, school officials and others gathered today to celebrate the opening of the new academic wing of Beverly High School with a ribbon cutting.
The $80 million building replaces the former building, which faced a possible accreditation loss for the facility. Classes will resume in the new building the week after Thanksgiving.
"It's funny, most people look forward to the Thanksgiving break," said Beverly High principal Sean Gallagher. "But for my students, they're kind of looking forward to coming back."
The four-story building features motion sensor lighting with many windows for natural light, wireless service, an industrial kitchen for culinary arts classes, and many more amenities.
"I graduated from Beverly High in 1981, and even then the building had some issues," Jerry Parisella, the representative elect for the Sixth Essex House district, said in an interview.
Among political dignitaries at the ribbon cutting ceremony were U.S. Representative John Tierney, state Treasurer Timothy Cahill, and Beverly Mayor William F. Scanlon Jr.
"This clearly could be a model school," Cahill said, comparing Beverly's timely construction that stayed on budget to the Newton North High School, which took 10 years and $197.5 million to build. "It could easily have gone in the Newton North direction."
After the ribbon cutting, students led tours of the new facilities.
"I like how it's a lot brighter," said Ally Shea, a senior student tour guide.
"[The old building] was very gloomy," said junior Arianna Cerro.
Shea added that she looked forward to having a consistent temperature throughout the school. The old building, she said, ran the gamut from extremely hot to freezing cold from room to room.
"You never knew what to wear, so you always had to bring a sweatshirt," Shea said.