Jan. 11 was a proud moment for Cape Cod Regional Technical High School, which held a frosty ceremonial groundbreaking for the $128 million new campus approved by district voters in 2017.
Prior to wielding one of a dozen golden shovels, Anthony Tullio of Wellfleet, chairman of the CapeTech School Committee, called the project to date a nine-year undertaking.
Tullio credited Charles Sumner, Brewster’s retired town manager and chairman of the new School Building Committee, for achieving what he called “a vital project for this region.”
Jack McCarthy, executive director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, thanked Rep. Sarah Peake (D-Provincetown) and the Cape’s legislative delegation for their leadership in making the project a reality.
“An investment in education pays the best interest,” said McCarthy, quoting Benjamin Franklin.
Robert Sanborn III, superintendent and director of CapeTech, opened his remarks by relaying that his family gifted him a hard hat on Christmas morning.
“Thanks to Erin Orcutt and Jim Mullin,” Sanborn said of CapeTech’s business manager and administrative assistant, respectively. “Without their work, I’d probably be in some kind of rest home.”
Having campaigned for months in support of the project, Sanborn echoed McCarthy, calling lawmakers’ efforts on CapeTech’s behalf outstanding.
He, too, specifically credited Peake for securing a larger state appropriation by factoring in the number of economically disadvantaged students at CapeTech. Peake called it “a personal and professional growth moment.”
“I’m so proud and happy to stand here today,” she said. “We’re all pulling from the same oar” and working for the future of the Cape.
Rep. Will Crocker (R-Centerville) recalled that his brother was a member of CapeTech’s first graduating class of 1975-76 in the Culinary Arts Program.
“We need to have an educated class that is schooled here and trained here to put their roots in their community and continue our community,” Crocker said.
Sen. Julian Cyr (D-Truro) concurred, saying that, perhaps more than any other school, “CapeTech helps people truly make a life here” on Cape Cod.
Rep. Timothy Whelan (R-Brewster) thanked the district towns’ selectmen, town councils, and the Cape community at large for giving students better access to more programs.
And Rep. Vieira (R-Falmouth) called CapeTech a model for all educational institutions.
“Your students are connecting with the real world,” Vieira said.
In October of 2017, voters in all 12 towns in the district, from Mashpee to Provincetown, overwhelmingly approved the $128 million construction of a new Cape Tech school in Harwich by a 75-percent margin.
The Massachusetts School Board Association Board of Directors then approved an estimated $5.3 million increase in state reimbursement funding for the project, bringing the MSBA’s construction funding commitment to $46 million.
Bond issues in the district towns are responsible for between $81 million and $86 million of the project. Construction of the new building is slated for completion in 2020, directly opposite the current building.
“Use this as your template for how to get the word out” on fundraising campaigns, quipped Rep. Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich), with a nod to Sanborn.
Designed by DRA Architects of Harwich, the new three-story building is designed to fit into the topography along the eastern edge of the 67-acre property.
The new school will group academic spaces around each technical discipline, to foster a sense of community, collaboration and 21st-century learning.
The conceptual design features two wings of academic classrooms and a large space for vocational shops, with additional height and access for the construction and transportation shops.
When the new building is ready for use in 2021, the old school, originally built in 1975, will be demolished to make room for parking and new sports fields.
For a 3D video of the new building, visit the CapeTech website.
Moment of silence
Sanborn called for a moment of silence in memory of 2018 CapeTech Engineering graduate Joel D. Ricketts “Paypa”, 19, of Dennis Port, and Ann Williams, 95, of Barnstable.
Ricketts, 19, died Jan. 10 at Mass General Hospital after succumbing to injuries from a car accident in Jamaica.
Williams, who represented the Town of Barnstable on the CapeTech School Building Committee, died peacefully at home on Christmas Eve.
“Ann would have loved to have been here, rest her soul,” said Rep. Hunt.
CapeTech invites prospective students to attend a showcase reveal night, including an overview of the application process and campus tours, on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m.