, Salem, MA

October 23, 2013

Danvers High open house set for this Saturday


---- — DANVERS — Residents attending an open house for the newly renovated Danvers High on Saturday will be able to catch sight of the school’s mascot, the falcon, set in stone at school’s new entrance.

The open house starts at 10 a.m. and will include a 10:15 a.m. ceremony, Superintendent Lisa Dana said.

The large, in-ground plaque — a gift to the school from the Class of 1963 — depicts the Danvers High falcon and is inscribed with the phrase “With Gratitude.” The stone was installed this summer in the patio outside the front entrance as part of the $70 million project, and it was installed in time for the Class of ’63 — the school’s first graduating class — to see it during its 50th reunion.

“The plaque will stand as a symbol of their gratitude for their education and remembrance of the dedicated staff and teachers who provided their educational foundation,” according to a statement from the class provided by Henry McDermott.

“We were the first graduating class from the first Danvers High,” said Sally Symmes, who helped organize the 50th reunion. “We went there as seniors, and we were the first ones to graduate.”

More than 60 members of the class got tours of the school during reunion weekend last month.

“It was another step into the stratosphere,” Symmes said upon seeing the new building, saying the school was just as impressive as the restored Holten Richmond Middle School. She said the class was proud that the falcon plaque was displayed “front and center” at the entrance.

As for the school project, the school’s business manager, Keith Taverna, told the School Committee Monday night that “the project is 99 percent complete.” The contractor, Bacon Construction, is no longer on site every day, and when workers are there, they are taking care of punch-list items.

On Saturday, Town Manager Wayne Marquis will speak, and the high school chorus and Danvers Falcon band will perform. Several state and local officials are scheduled to attend.

The ceremony will also include a ribbon-cutting for a new plaque dedicated to the project, hung just inside the front lobby. The plaque will hang next to the original Danvers High plaque, which was displayed in a portion of the building that had been torn down during construction, Dana said.

A reception will follow the ceremony in the cafeteria, and students will give tours of the new building.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

If you go What: Dedication of the $70 million Danvers High project When: Saturday, 10 a.m.; dedication ceremony starts at 10:15 a.m.; reception and tours to follow Where: Danvers High, 60 Cabot Road Who: Massachusetts School Building Authority Executive Director Jack McCarthy and state Treasurer Steve Grossman are among those scheduled to attend.