District breaks ground on next high school building
Looking into the distance at the future site of the new Quincy High School, the school board president, Tricia Lubach, saw more than an empty, windswept field on the chilly afternoon of Nov. 8.
“I see opportunity,” she said. “It’s Quincy, opportunities unlimited. So, to look out and think that we are going to have a state-of-the-art high school in just two years, it’s incredible that we have that opportunity.”
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Dozens of people turned out to celebrate the groundbreaking of the future school, lining both sides of M Street with parked vehicles. Cheerleaders bundled up but still led cheers. The band struggled in the cold but still belted out the tunes. And folks young and old celebrated the start of a new era in secondary education for Quincy.
“Everybody in the high school has taken some time to reflect and celebrate the efforts of many people,” said Debbie Belew-Nyquist, the principal at Quincy High School, in Spanish and English. “Our thanks and appreciation go to the school board, our superintendent, (project manager) David Bodine and specially the voting public of Quincy.”
John Boyd, superintendent of Quincy School District, said the new building will help the district fulfill the promise it made to the community to graduate “every student ready to take the next steps in their lives.”
With chattering teeth and thick gloves muffling the applause, people marveled at the historic connotation of the occasion. Lubach noted that this would be only the third high school building for Quincy in almost 90 years. The last groundbreaking occurred in the mid-1950s.
“I just remember being there,” said Carl Yeates, who attended that groundbreaking as a curious 5-year-old and attended the Nov. 8 groundbreaking, with a green-and-gold hat on.
In between groundbreakings, he, his children and now his grandchildren, have attended Quincy schools, which makes witnessing the groundbreaking all the more special, he said.
“It’s pretty nostalgic, when you think about it. I went to school all 12 years here in Quincy, and now to see a new high school 60 years later, and my grandchildren will be going there, so it’s pretty neat,” Yeates said.
Mayor Jim Hemberry said he could not wait to come back to the ribbon-cutting in the fall of 2019, for two reasons, to see the finished product, and “’Cause it will be warmer,” he quipped.
Belew-Nyquist, halfway through her first year as Quincy High School principal, described the upcoming high school as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a principal.”
“To be able to take our old traditions and start our new traditions,” she said. “And we have the best kids in the state, so we are going to be an absolute powerhouse, in a state-of-the-art high school. And our kids are deserving of it, and they are ready for it. As is our staff.”
By Sebastian Moraga, email@example.com