Students & Faculty Now A Part Of Hampden Academy 

Folks in the Hampden school district made history at a ceremony Tuesday afternoon. More than 800 people are now a permanent part of the new high school that’s being built. John Wilson, a junior at Hampden Academy, was just one of the speakers on-hand at the ceremony. “With the placement of the final steel beam, the structural framework of our new school will be in place and our vision will come to life,” Wilson told the crowd.The idea started in the fall. A member of the construction team that’s building the new Hampden Academy, J & J Construction, thought about getting students involved in the construction of their new high school. Rick Lyons, Superintendent of the Hampden schools, “and obviously try and personalize it for the students and give them some affiliation with the project and we started planning in september and october and brought it to fruition yesterday.”Around 850 students, faculty, and other community members signed this steel beam Monday. Tuesday, many of them watched as construction workers placed that beam into it’s final home atop the new Hampden Academy.The school will be home to students in Hampden, Winterport, and Newburgh come the fall of 2012. “I think there’s gonna be a lot of memories,” said Wilson, “it might sadden kids to think about the fact that they’re leaving that, but at the same time to think about what’s ahead is pretty cool.” What’s ahead is a brand new 191,000 square foot high school complete with a 900-seat performing arts center, modern science classrooms and a new gymnasium. Making this the most expensive new school in maine with a price tag of about $52 million.Folks around here are brimming with anticipation and excitement to see the finished product. “Let’s make history with this new school,” Wilson told the crowd on Tuesday. “And a brighter future for the students and faculty of Hampden Academy.”