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March 17, 2014

Teamwork made a new Danvers High a reality

DANVERS — The town dedicated its newly renovated $70 million high school Saturday with speeches and tours, with the theme of the day being the school could not have been rebuilt without teamwork.

“It was an approach that helped us overcome a lot of challenges along the way,” said Town Manager Wayne Marquis, who was singled out for his leadership on the project by Kenneth DiNisco, the principal of DiNisco Design Partnership of Boston and the architect on the massive project.

The official opening of the high school had been scheduled for October, but the slaying of high school math teacher Colleen Ritzer, allegedly at the hands of one of her freshmen students several days prior, put the ceremony on hold.

Saturday’s event reflected on the 15 years of work it took to get the school renovated. In attendance in the high school auditorium were many of the town officials, school committee members, school staff, selectmen and residents who had long advocated for or worked on the project. More than 300 people came out for the dedication.

School Committee member Eric Crane called it “the compilation of 15 years of work by numerous members of the community.” He thanked the school administration, the town manager and his staff, DiNisco and “most of all, the people of Danvers.”

“It was a long road to get to the completion of this project,” Crane said.

Marquis singled out members of the Danvers Construction Advisory Committee, whose members met monthly at 7:30 a.m. for 41/2 years to get the project completed. He also named members of his staff, including Department of Public Works Director David Lane, who worked on the project.

Selectmen Chairman Gardner Trask said the efforts over 15 years culminated in a renovated Holten Richmond Middle School on Conant Street in 2005 and the high school project. The town had rejected a middle and high school complex on Cabot Road.

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