Today’s news:

Preston breaks ground on new classrooms

by Patrick Rocchio

Preston High School put the shovel in the dirt to build state-of-the-art science labs, a project the school has raised and will continue to raise millions of dollars.

Construction should begin soon on the project. The board of trustees held a symbolic groundbreaking on Thursday, October 15. The school placed a large plaque at its main entrance – called the Tree of Recognition – listing the donors for the project.

According to principal Jane Grendell, the project is rooted in Preston’s mission to “empower young women to discover their own potential and value through a broad and challenging education” by incorporating expanded facilities that will include state-of-the-art technology and up-to-date equipment for the 21st century.

“We have been dreaming about this for years, but it took time to raise the seed money for the project,” Grendell said. “We are going to add two fully-equipped new science labs, additional storage space, and an elevator for increased handicapped accessibility. We are also improving the connection between the main building and the mansion.”

The mansion is the original building on the school’s waterfront grounds when the Sisters of Divine Compassion purchased the property in 1927. The project will also include some renovations to this historic building.

According to Grendell, the project is expected to cost about $3.1 million when complete, and is becoming a reality through the generous contributions of the Preston family of supporters.

“The new building will be made possible through the generosity of donors, including loyal alums, current families, and several different foundations,” Grendell stated. “The design was created by OCV Architects under the direction of John Coogan and Kirsten Youngren. The building will have state-of-the-art equipment including smart boards, laptops for students, and the latest scientific equipment.”

The project should to be completed sometime in the next 12 to 15 months.

“The construction itself might be a little disrupting – but we are keeping our eyes on the prize,” Grendell said.

Michael Daly, president of the Board of Trustees for Preston High School, said that the start of the project, which is to begin in the weeks following the ceremonial groundbreaking and blessing of the “tree” of donors, would attract the type of students that will allow the school to continue its top notch reputation.

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