DIGHTON — Bristol County Agricultural High School has kicked off a $103 million building program.
Bristol Aggie students, staff, officials, and community members recently gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of the construction and renovation project on the 107-year-old campus.
The first phase will be the construction of the Center for Science and the Environment, which will house the Science Department, Natural Resource Management program, Animal Science Program and the new Environment Engineering program.
The building work also includes renovations to Gilbert Hall that will provide modern classrooms and a new home for the Arboriculture program, a new student common, renovations to the Agricultural Mechanics building and a new Landscape Design and Contracting building.
“It has been over 50 years since Bristol Aggie has had a major construction or renovation project,” Board of Trustees President Ken Raymond said. “Many hours have been invested into this project to be sure that this is the agricultural school of tomorrow.
In attendance at the groundbreaking event were State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, Chief Executive Officer James MacDonald and Deputy Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director Jack McCarthy of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, Bristol Aggie Board of Trustees, Bristol County Commissioners, school building committee members, and many other officials, including state Sen. Paul Feeney, D-Foxboro, and state Reps. James Hawkins, D-Attleboro, and Steven Howitt, R-Seekonk.
Superintendent Adele Sands spoke about the role the community has in this project.
“Without county-wide support for this project, it would never have come to fruition and I am here, representing our staff and student in saying thank you to everyone who helped shape this project by attending planning meetings, voting to commit town and city resources, getting the word out about the value of vocational/agricultural education, and recognizing that there is not another place in the Commonwealth like Bristol Aggie,” Sands said.
Assistant Superintendent/Principal Kevin Braga added, “Through the dreams and aspirations of our students, we were able to develop our scope of work for the renovation and expansion. Even though today marks the official start of the expansion and renovation, our students and staff have been involved in this process for the past three years.”
Bristol Aggie is an agricultural-vocational public high school set on over 200 acres in Dighton. It has seven agricultural offerings for its 450 students from across Bristol County and beyond. They include Large & Small Animal Science, Agricultural Mechanics, Arboriculture, Landscape Design & Construction, Floriculture, and Natural Resource Management.