A Momentous Occasion: School Construction Project Breaks Ground after 13 Years of Unyielding Efforts by the City and Volunteers

Westfield - The City of Westfield is thrilled to announce a monumental milestone in the realm of education and community development. After an arduous and unwavering 13-year endeavor, the long-awaited Franklin Ave / Abner Gibbs Replacement School has finally broken ground. This monumental achievement will be marked by a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the as yet unnamed new school at 133 Franklin Street on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at 10:00 AM.

The new school, an architectural marvel designed to foster creativity, innovation, and collaboration, will serve as a beacon of knowledge and inspiration for students and educators alike. Boasting state-of-the-art classrooms, cutting-edge science and technology labs, and educational support facilities, this facility will provide an enriched educational environment that empowers students to explore their potential and excel in their pursuits.

“The district is beyond excited that this long-awaited project is now underway,’ stated Superintendent of Schools, Stefan Czaporowski, “We can't wait to open our modern, state of the art elementary school in the downtown area for students from Franklin Avenue and Abner Gibbs Elementary Schools. The school department is very appreciative of the community support that we have received to move this project forward.”

Throughout the 13-year journey, volunteers have come together to form the School Building Committee, dedicating countless hours to bringing this project to fruition. Their commitment and belief in the transformative power of education have been the driving force behind the success of this project. 

“This is a really big deal for our kids,” said Mayor Mike McCabe, “The schools were showing their age, and while each of the schools’ excellent, committed teachers and staff made it work, the joining of the two schools in one new beautiful school with updated amenities will inspire an even stronger learning environment for our students.  I am fortunate to be a small part of its long story and appreciate all the effort it took to get us to the beginning of construction.”

The City’s Chief Procurement Officer, Tammy Tefft, has been part of the project since the beginning and is proud that Fontaine Bros., Inc out of Springfield has been awarded the bid as general contractor for the project. “It has been a priority of the City to work within Mass General Law to contract companies for this project, Tefft shares, “Fontaine Bros. submitted the lowest bid when we tried to construct a new school under Mayor Knapik, and they submitted the lowest bid again this time, as well. We look forward to continuing to work with this local company to bring this project full circle”

The new school is scheduled to be completed in November of 2024 with anticipated occupancy over the Winter Holidays of 2024 into 2025.  The construction project is being kept separate from the school community and will not cause disruption to the school community. Neighbors of the project can expect increased truck traffic and ambient construction noise during the day.

Individuals and businesses interested in receiving regular email updates on the project are requested to contact the Owner’s Project Manager from P-3, Meaghan Tuttle, by email at admin@p-threeinc.com to be placed on the project information distribution list. Updates will also be distributed through the City of Westfield Facebook page, and the website at

www. cityofwestfield.org


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