MERIDEN — City leaders joined community members and state officials in the lofty, sun-bathed foyer of the newly renovated Platt High School Thursday to cut the ceremonial ribbon on one of the city’s largest construction endeavors to date.
“(The students) deserve the best and Meriden you have given them the best,” said Superintendent of Schools Mark Benigni, Platt High School Class of 1989. “The new Orville H. Platt High School is a remarkable community asset and another thing Meriden can and should be proud of.”
The $111.8 million renovation project transformed the school into a sleek and modern education facility, with a new gym, administrative offices and elegant entrance to the building. The city contracted O&G Industries Inc. for the project, which was done throughout the school year, forcing students to maneuver around work crews and closed hallways.
Platt Principal Robert Montemurro, who graduated from the school in 1977, praised the teachers for continuing to strive for excellence amid the challenges of construction.
“Over the past four years as a team they have brought a new learning environment to life in community, creativity, innovation and student-centered learning without missing a beat while continuing the daily practice of providing the highest quality of teaching in at times very trying conditions,” Montemurro said. “On behalf of the Platt High School community, please accept our greatest appreciation for this beautiful new school.”
The Class of 2018 were freshman when construction began, noted Board of Education President and 1987 Platt High School graduate Mark Hughes.
“This month becomes the first month of a four year high school experience that is not under construction and they will be the first class to graduate in the new and state of the art Orville H. Platt High School,” Hughes said.
City leaders thanked state officials for helping to secure funds for the project, including former House Speaker Chris Donovan, in addition to the School Building Committee, City Council, Board of Education, contractors and engineers.
Those in attendance at the ceremony included Meriden state Reps. Emil “Buddy” Altobello, Jr., Catherine Abercrombie and Hilda Santiago, State Sen. Leonard Suzio and City Councilors Brian Daniels and Dan Brunet.
“The Platt High School construction project is the single largest construction project in the history of Meriden,” Daniels said. “It came in on time and under budget.”
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