New middle school in Holyoke reaches construction milestone

An aerial view of the site for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday. The new school will hold 550 students when it opens in a little over a year.

An aerial view of the site for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday. The new school will hold 550 students when it opens in a little over a year.

Representative Patricia Duffy speaks during a topping off ceremony for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday at the site of the former Peck School Building.

Representative Patricia Duffy speaks during a topping off ceremony for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday at the site of the former Peck School Building. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia speaks during a topping off ceremony for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday at the site of the former Peck School Building.

Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia speaks during a topping off ceremony for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday at the site of the former Peck School Building. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

The site for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday. Officials held a “topping off” ceremony, marking a key milestone in the project. The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2025 for students in grades 6-8.

The site for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday. Officials held a “topping off” ceremony, marking a key milestone in the project. The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2025 for students in grades 6-8. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

Workers from Fontaine Bros. Inc. install the final beam for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday during a topping off ceremony at the site of the former Peck School Building.

Workers from Fontaine Bros. Inc. install the final beam for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday during a topping off ceremony at the site of the former Peck School Building. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

Workers from Fontaine Bros. Inc. installed the final beam for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday during a topping off ceremony at the site of the former Peck School Building.

Workers from Fontaine Bros. Inc. installed the final beam for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday during a topping off ceremony at the site of the former Peck School Building. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

The site for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday. Officials held a topping off ceremony, marking a key milestone in the project. The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2025 for students in grades 6-8.

The site for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday. Officials held a topping off ceremony, marking a key milestone in the project. The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2025 for students in grades 6-8. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

Workers from Fontaine Bros. Inc. install the final beam for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday during a topping-off ceremony at the site of the former Peck School Building. The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2025 for students in grades 6-8.

Workers from Fontaine Bros. Inc. install the final beam for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday during a topping-off ceremony at the site of the former Peck School Building. The school is scheduled to open in the fall of 2025 for students in grades 6-8. photos FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

Superintendent of Holyoke Public Schools Anthony Soto speaks as Mayor Joshua Garcia looks on during a topping off ceremony for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday at the site of the former Peck School Building.

Superintendent of Holyoke Public Schools Anthony Soto speaks as Mayor Joshua Garcia looks on during a topping off ceremony for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday at the site of the former Peck School Building. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

A topping off ceremony was held Monday for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday at the site of the former Peck School Building.

A topping off ceremony was held Monday for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday at the site of the former Peck School Building. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

Holyoke City Council President Tessa Murphy-Romboletti speaks during a topping off ceremony for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday at the site of the former Peck School Building.

Holyoke City Council President Tessa Murphy-Romboletti speaks during a topping off ceremony for the new Holyoke Middle School on Monday at the site of the former Peck School Building. FOR THE GAZETTE/DAN LITTLE

Staff report

Published: 06-25-2024 12:48 PM

Modified: 06-25-2024 3:54 PM


HOLYOKE — The city marked the next milestone in its construction of a new two-story, 107,475-square-foot middle school on Monday with a “topping-off” ceremony. That’s when the highest steel beam signed by key stakeholders is placed atop the building.

The new $85.5 million middle school will replace the poorly designed, energy-inefficient Peck Middle School with a modern building on the Northampton Street site. The school will house 550 students in grades 6-8 when it opens in the fall of 2025. Officials said the new school is an important component of Holyoke’s efforts to strengthen learning opportunities and reimagine the middle school experience.

“I am thrilled to see the tremendous progress towards building a new middle school for our Holyoke students and community,” said Superintendent Anthony Soto at Monday’s ceremony. “With the beams in place, we can now clearly see the size and scale of this building. This is the structure for what will become a best-in-class learning environment for our students, where they can discover their passions in art, music, science, literature, and more.”

Joining Soto on Monday were Mayor Joshua Garcia, and members of the City Council, School Committee and School Building Committee.

Also in attendance were Mary Pichetti, executive director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, Sen. John Velis and Rep. Patricia Duffy, and students, families, and staff who will be assigned to the new middle school when construction is completed.

The project was officially approved in June 2023 by the city of Holyoke and the MSBA. Of the total $85.5 million costs for demolishing Peck and building a new middle school, the city is responsible for paying approximately $27.1 million and the MSBA will reimburse approximately $58.4 million. Currently, the estimated project costs are under-budget, officials said.

Fontaine Bros. is the general contractor for the new middle school building. Mount Vernon Group Architects is the design firm for the project, while Anser Advisory is serving as the owner’s project manager. American Environmental completed the demolition and site preparation.

A name for the new building is expected to be decided in November.

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More information is available on the district website: hps.holyoke.ma.us/page/new-middle-school.