EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

September 26, 2013

'New' Methuen High a big hit at open house


“The community has really been waiting in anticipation to see the building,” Methuen School Superintendent Judith Scannell said.

“This was a very big piece for the taxpayer,’’ she said. “I am delighted they are here to see this.’’

Scannell said the school received rave reviews from numerous people who stopped to talk with her as they left the building.

What drew the most praise?

“The draw is having walls in the classrooms and windows,’’ Scannell said. “Every classroom in the building has windows. We’re the last to have the open classroom concept in the commonwealth.’’

Many visitors who were interviewed echoed Scannell’s remarks.

“I love all the windows and the separate classrooms,” said Bill Haneffant, who was accompanied by his daughter Caitlyn, a 2009 Methuen High graduate.

“I also love the openness — walking in here and not feeling cramped and old,’’ he said. “I think it’s great. It’s really beautiful. Once they get the stadium and the field house done, I think we’ll be the talk of the state.’’

Caitlyn, who expects to graduate from Salem State University with a bachelor’s degree in education and sociology, said she was equally impressed with the improvements to the high school.

“It’s completely different than when I graduated,” she said. “The school is much brighter and there are no orange walls anymore. I am so used to coming up to doors that are completely orange. If I were in secondary education, I would be looking to come here. But I’m in early childhood education.’’

Without the improvements, Methuen High wouldn’t be an attractive teaching destination, she said.

If it were the same old high school she knew, Caitlyn said “it would still be on my list because I live in town, but it wouldn’t be at the top of the list.”

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