After years of anticipation and growing enrollment, Eastchester School officials celebrated the expansion of the high school Tuesday with a Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Ceremony.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Walter Moran, School Board President Mary Messner-Martin, and High School Principal Dr. Jeffrey Capuano ushered in a new era.
"I am so proud of our community and I am so happy for our students," said Dr. Moran, "that they finally have a facility commensurate with the level of achievement and learning that they deserve. To see that happen, is one of the best feelings I have ever had here."
Ms. Messner-Martin described her impressions walking through the new cafeteria. "It is light filled and joy filled. I would like to thank the community for all the support you provided. The project will keep on giving for years to come."
Voters approved an almost $27-million-dollar bond to expand the high school building in October of 2015 and construction work began in June of 2017.
The three-story addition includes eight new classrooms, four small group instruction rooms, three biology labs, three chemistry labs, and a state-of-the art cafeteria with traditional and high top seating. Adjacent to the cafeteria are three newly designed earth science labs and the new student commons, housing a study center and digital lab. The Guidance Department has been relocated for better student access adjacent to the student commons.
Dr. Capuano recalls his first week as principal when "temporary" walls were put up in the old gym to transform it into classrooms. Fifteen years later, the walls are about to come down and the old gym will soon be utilized for its intended purpose.
"What we do here is one step short of sacred," said Dr. Capuano," and the building needs to reflect the importance of the education. Now it does."
Eastchester Government Organization President Miranda Deleon and Vice President Aaron Asiedu-Wiafe joined school leaders and cut the ribbon. "The school felt really old. The new wing is modern and it puts you in a better environment. I used to go to the library for lunch but now I come here. There's room for everyone," said Asieud-Wiafe.
"I was in awe when I first walked in," said DeLeon. "This really transforms the learning environment because so many teachers had to share classrooms with one another. Ceiling tiles were literally falling as teachers were teaching."
Major improvements were also made to the high school auditorium including new seating, carpeting, lighting and sound systems, painting and the replacement of the stage floor.
The project also created energy efficiencies in the building with a new roof for the "new" gym constructed in 1984 and new boilers, heating and lighting.
Architects from KG&D drew up the plans for the new addition. Contractors included: Piazza, Inc., L J Coppola, All Bright Electric, Bertussi/Pearl River, Tri-state Contract Sales.
We would also like to recognize Eastchester Town Supervisor Anthony Colavita, Attorneys: Keane & Beane and Construction contractors Brendan Ahern, Enda McIntyre and Pat Murtagh and our facilities team for your support.