HPS officially opened during ribbon-cutting ceremony

  • Published
  • By Mark Wyatt
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony today to mark the completion of a $37 million, 80,000-square-foot multi-story primary school here.

Lincoln’s superintendent of schools called the facility “the most incredible primary school learning environment I have ever seen in my 35 years in education.”

“The opening of the Hanscom Middle School, and now the Hanscom Primary School, has reinforced the concept that a building is so much more than bricks and mortar; it is a catalyst for change and a launch pad into the future of education,” said Dr. Rebecca McFall during her remarks.

The ceremony included comments from Jon House, military and veterans liaison for U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, who represents Lincoln and other nearby towns.

“By opening this primary school on base, it ensures the sacrifices our service members make are rewarded with the best possible education for their children,” he read on behalf of Clark. “It is my belief that Hanscom is one of the best military bases in the country, and the opening of a brand new school within the bounds of that base only reinforces that belief.”

The school replaces a 1950s-era primary school with contemporary learning space.

“The Hanscom Primary School represents our vision for an environment that engages students in their learning, develops students who are problem-solvers and critical thinkers and assists children in developing the ability to collaborate and to create caring relationships,” McFall said.

The building’s design fully integrates the primary school with the Hanscom Middle School.

The project also includes 21st Century School concepts such as learning neighborhoods, central hubs surrounded by learning studios, flex labs, an information center annex, commons area for dining and social networking, therapy rooms, teacher work areas, counseling areas, storage, administrative offices and other required areas for a fully- functioning facility.

“A world of possibilities awaits our school family this year in this new school,” said Julie Vincentsen, the school’s principal, who served as emcee for the ceremony.

Installation Commander Col. Chad Ellsworth thanked school officials during his remarks.

“During their waking hours, our children spend more time with you than they do with us. It takes a special person with a special heart - thank you for building the next generation,” he said.

Like the 85,000-square-foot middle school that opened in 2016, the primary school includes indoor and outdoor learning spaces that are environmentally friendly. Among them are photovoltaic panels, rainwater harvesting, solar hot water, high performance HVAC and energy-efficient lighting systems.

Department of Defense Education Activity required that the school meet ‘21st Century Learning’ standards.

According to the 21st Century Learning website, this type of learning includes a "holistic view of 21st century teaching and learning" by combining "a discrete focus on 21st century student outcomes with innovative support systems to help students master the multi-dimensional abilities required."

Staff members from the offices of U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, as well as local and state representatives, also attended.

Both of Hanscom’s schools are provided and supported entirely by the federal government, and are operated, via contract, by the Lincoln Public School system.