The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Connors Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon included, from left, Maurice Beauparlant, Janice Connors, Linda Scott, Maureen Poussard and Eileen Belleau. The school is scheduled to open in 2019.

Superintendent Bill Webster holds the shovel at the groundbreaking for the new Connors Elementary School in Lewiston on Tuesday. The same shovel was used in groundbreaking ceremonies for Farwell and Geiger elementary schools, he said.

Preston Poussard reads his speech Tuesday about how honored the family of former Superintendent Bob Connors is to have the new Connors Elementary School named for him. Lewiston School Committee Chairwoman Linda Scott, holding the ceremonial shovel, looks on at the groundbreaking ceremony next to Lewiston High School. The new school will open in 2019.

LEWISTON — With a lacrosse game going on in the background, school officials and dignitaries held a ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for the $49.7 million school next to Lewiston High School.

The Connors Elementary School will replace the aging Martel and Longley elementary schools. It will be built on the football field.

The project will include a complex of new athletic fields and walking paths for the public and paid for by the state.

The school is named for the late Robert Connors, a former Lewiston schools superintendent; the library is being named for the late Georgette Berube, a state senator from Lewiston.

Connors’ wife, Janice, daughters Eileen Belleau and Maureen Poussard, and grandson Preston Poussard attended. Berube’s brother, Maurice Beauparlant, was also there.

“If my grandfather was still alive, I know how humbly and graciously he would have accepted this honor,” Preston Poussard said. “For those who grew up with him or taught along side of him over the years, you know how much this would mean to him,” he said.

Superintendent Bill Webster said Connors and Berube “represent what we want this school to be, the best for Lewiston.”

Webster said, “Construction on the new school has “been a long time coming. Everything is now put together. We’re very excited that we’re not only going to have a state-of-the-art school to meet our educational needs, we’re also have upgraded playing fields that will make Lewiston High School a location to be for any athletic event.”

The construction firm is P.C. Construction of New Hampshire. Crews have already started working on clearing land for the access road off Bartlett Street to bring equipment to the site.

“Things will start in earnest in two more weeks when most of the high school sporting events will be behind us,” Webster said.

With overcrowded schools and aging schools, education officials have been working on plans for the new school for four years, School Committee Chairwoman Linda Scott said.

Last June, Lewiston residents voted to approve the new elementary, 2,459 to 980.

“We’re very excited that we’re not only going to have a state-of-the-art school to meet our educational needs, we’ll also have upgraded playing fields that will make Lewiston High School a location to be for any athletic event.” — Superintendent Bill Webster


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