Topping Off Ceremony Marks Milestone in Construction of Henry K. Oliver K-8 School
LAWRENCE, MA – November 29, 2023 – Mayor DePeña’s Office and the School Department are pleased to announce the successful Topping Off Ceremony for the construction of the Henry K. Oliver K-8 School, a momentous occasion that signals a significant step towards the school’s anticipated Fall 2025 opening.
The Topping Off Ceremony, a construction tradition dating back centuries, was a celebration of collaboration among project workers and community stakeholders. The point of the event was the signing of the final steel beam, symbolizing the completion of the building’s framework and the dedication of all those involved in bringing this facility to fruition.
Superintendent Juan Rodríguez set the tone for the ceremony with his welcoming remarks, expressing gratitude for the hard work and commitment displayed by the various stakeholders, including the Oliver School Building Committee. Mayor Brian A. DePeña followed with an inspiring speech, highlighting the importance of the Henry K. Oliver School as a cornerstone for education and community development.
Mayor DePeña extends its sincere appreciation to all project workers, community stakeholders, and partners who have contributed to reaching this milestone. The excitement and anticipation for the Fall 2025 opening of the Henry K. Oliver School continue to grow, and the city looks forward to welcoming students to a cutting-edge learning environment.
City Council President Marc Laplante shared his enthusiasm for the project and its history behind it, emphasizing the impact the school will have on the local community. Jim McDonald, CEO of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, also spoke at the ceremony, underlining the collaborative efforts that have made this project possible.
“The Topping Off Ceremony is a symbol of progress, unity, and the shared commitment to providing our community with a state-of-the-art educational facility,” said Lawrence Mayor Brian A. DePeña. “The Henry K. Oliver School will not only be a center for learning but a beacon of hope and opportunity for future generations.”
Lawrence School Committee Vice-Chair Jonathan Guzman and School Committee Member Patricia Mariano were in attendance as well, alongside students and community members from the Oliver School.
The new Henry K. Oliver K-8 School is being constructed on the location of the former Oliver Elementary School and retains a portion of the historic structure built in 1917. The new 160,000 sq. ft renovation and addition will combine the elementary and middle school population of over 1,000 students under one roof. The City of Lawrence has partnered with the Massachusetts School Building Authority, through which partial grant reimbursement will be received. Sustainable features have been incorporated into this project which is expected to receive a LEED Silver designation from the U.S. Green Building Council.
As the final steel beam was put atop, the ceremony attendees had the opportunity to witness the months of hard work. The Oliver School construction project represents a vital investment in the future of Lawrence.