Fales Elementary School hosts ribbon-cutting, open house


Fales Elementary School hosts ribbon-cutting, open house
Fales Elementary School Principal Maryann Stannard, center, and Stephen Doret, back to camera, chairman of the Building Committee, cut the ribbon at the Fales Elementary School on Jan. 8. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

WESTBOROUGH – For Superintendent Amber Bock, Annie E. Fales Elementary School on Eli Whitney Street is “the final piece of the puzzle” in creating a new space for grades K-3.

During an official ribbon-cutting and open house on Jan. 8, Bock honored those who assembled the puzzle, from school staff to Fales Principal Maryann Stannard and Building Committee Chairman Stephen Doret.

The event capped a process that began in 2015.

“It is incredibly exciting to reach this moment,” said Bock.

Doret took pride in the school being a net-zero-plus building; the school’s solar panels have already produced 700,000 kilowatt hours, he said.

“This is a very unique school in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” he said.

Both Town Manager Kristi Williams and Select Board Chairman Ian Johnson acknowledged the challenges faced during the building project. Among those challenges were having the new school built while classes were being conducted in the old building – during the COVID-19 pandemic, no less.

“It was not without its challenges,” said Williams. “It’s truly a tremendous achievement.”

“This was a difficult project,” said Johnson, adding that the new building will be “celebrated for years to come.”

Stannard thanked her staff. 

“They stepped up through the entire process,” she said.

State Rep. Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury) and state Rep. Kate Donaghue (D-Westborough) presented a citation from the State House to the school, and expressed their appreciation to Doret for all the work he has done over the years.

“I was asking Steve ‘What number school building is it for you?’ And he said, ‘My last’,” said Kane.

The new school includes a full-size gym, a maker space, rooms that allow plenty of natural light, and geothermal wells that, once fully online, will provide heat.

Several attendees had different connections with the school.

Susan (Vergie) McAlice, a friend of state Donaghue, knew Annie Fales, a teacher and principal for Westborough schools for nearly 50 years and the namesake of the elementary school.

“She was my choir director,” said McAlice, who graduated from Westborough High School in 1966. “She played organ at the Unitarian church, and we had choir practice at home.”

Second grade teacher Patty Gallo attended the school as a student before returning as a teacher 22 years ago. 

“It’s bright, cheerful, colorful,” said Gallo.

For the latest on Fales, visit fes.westboroughk12.org.

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