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Groton Community School Dedicates Beautiful Addition, Celebrating A Milestone For & By A New Generation

Natina Perrotti and Betsy Kehoe from GCS Board of Trustees

Natina Perrotti and Betsy Kehoe from GCS Board of Trustees

Linda Kosinski, GCS Executive Director (and Past GCS Parent)

   Despite the gray November weather, spirits were high at Groton Community School’s recent Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the completion of Phase One for the Forward Motion Project to renovate and expand the school.  The school’s long history in the community began with its official opening on September 24, 1945 in the First Parish Church here in Groton.  

     After brief stays at Grotonwood and the Prescott School, Groton Community School found its permanent home at 110 Boston Road in the fall 1984. A team of “Dreamscapers” built a state-of-the-art school for the time, with cheerful and colorful classrooms, full kitchens in each, a beautiful playground situated in a natural setting, and a large “Community Room” (also known as the Big Room) to welcome school families and the outside community.        

    Throughout the years, GCS simply outgrew the little red brick schoolhouse, and discussions began as early as 2000 to expand the school.  Planning for Forward Motion Project officially began in 2010 and culminated in the completion of Phase One in December 2020. 

    However, due to the COVID-19 environment and visitor restrictions, a formal Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was delayed on several occasions. It was especially gratifying that the school finally was able to open its doors wide, fully welcoming guests once again for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. A small gathering of those in the community who helped to make the project possible were in attendance.  

    At this week’s ceremony, heartfelt acknowledgements and sincere gratitude were shared with Maguel Architects, RP Masiello Builders, Town of Groton officials, donors, and neighbors at Lawrence Academy who hosted Groton Community School on their campus during construction at 110 Boston Road.  

    Special acknowledgments were made for GCS Trustees, including President John Amaral, GCS Board of Directors members, Steering Committee members, extraordinary volunteers such as Building and Grounds Representative Emily Crouse, and the school administration who worked tirelessly to make the Forward Motion dream a reality.  

     GCS Director Linda Kosinski, celebrating her 38th year, and Assistant Director Lisa Stafford in her 28th year at the school, are especially pleased to be involved with a school that can meet the needs of children, families, and the community now and well into the future.  The Ribbon Cutting also unveiled the Conner Library (housing a large collection of children’s literature and family resources), in honor of the Conner Family, with four children who attended GCS.  Lisa, a past Board of Directors member, and John, a past Trustee, connected Groton Community School with Dan Barton of Maugel Architects to begin the architectural vision for the school.  A decision was made to expand and renovate, instead of relocating the school, as GCS has such a rich history and a magical outdoor playscape at this location.  

    It was amazing to see the Project come to fruition, even after an initial mandatory closing of the school in spring  2020, and some delay in construction, due to COVID-19. Groton Community School has successfully weathered the pandemic, two moves (to the Lawrence Academy and back again) and is now enjoying feeling very much at home in a beautiful, up-to-date facility.  Many goals of the Forward Motion Project have been successfully met.  

    These include a large and welcoming lobby and wide hallways to greet families and visitors, expanded classrooms with lots of natural light and storage, an organized administrative area and separate staff room for teacher and board member collaborations, a small conference room for parent and teacher meetings, an organized storeroom and expansive storage attic for curriculum materials, and a dedicated children’s library and technology center.  A future project yet to be completed is a new “Community Room” to host school-wide and community events, as well as serving as a large motor space for GCS children.  The shell for this space has been built to prepare for a second phase of the Forward Motion Project in the future.  

   Groton Community School has touched the lives of many children, their families, and early childhood educators, with incredible staff dedication and longevity, and strong ties to past staff and families.  

   Past parents often stay involved, as volunteers or even joining us as staff members.  It is a distinct honor to have the children and grandchildren of alumni in attendance, and to have alumni on staff, serving on the Board of Directors, and participating on the Board of Trustees. GCS is a special place because of its NAEYC accredited program and the sense of “community” it fosters, welcoming and embracing those involved in the school now and in the past.    A large Open House is now being planned for spring  2023, to thank generous donors and to welcome the greater community.

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