CAMBRIDGE — Dorchester County Public School’s newest facility was officially dedicated by political and educational leaders on Thursday, June 3, at the new North Dorchester High School in Hurlock.

A dedication for NDHS was not held last school year, the inaugural year for the $43 million facility (nicknamed “The Nest”), due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but dignitaries and school officials gathered in the auditorium to formally celebrate and acknowledge the opening.

Educational leaders made remarks including State Superintendent of Schools Karen Salmon, DCPS Superintendent Dave Bromwell, former DCPS Superintendent Henry Wagner, DCPS Director of Operations Beth Wilson, Facilities and School Safety Planner Chris Hauge and NDHS Principal David Stofa.

Dignitaries spoke or made presentations including State Sen. Addie Eckardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes, D-37A, Del. Johnny Mautz, R-37B-Talbot, Dorchester County Council President Jay Newcomb and Dave Wooten of the Comptroller’s Office. The Board of Education, as well as other former and current leaders attended and were recognized.

Salmon, who retires June 30, made her last official speech on the Eastern Shore. She pointed to a widely held educational precept that students learn better when in better environment.

Wagner called the relationship between educational and policy makers, “A solid relationship of trust ... truly a remarkable synergy in this day and age.”

Chris Hague credited the North Dorchester community with working effectively with the county council and school board.

Hague compared the completion of NDHS “on time and under budget” to the philosophy of ancient Polynesian sailors: “We made the goal move to us.”

He cited examples of community involvement including a 2014 “greatest hopes exercise” when people were asked to envision the impact of a future new facility. He also referred to an exercise several years ago predicting possible newspaper headlines, including, “Modern, high tech North Dorchester High School opens to eager learners,” “New school opens, worth the wait,” and “School of the future opens today” and others.

Hague admonished the North Dorchester community: “Put this tool to work like never before.”

The 116,720 square foot building sits on a 40-acre site, and includes 18 classrooms, seven labs and other studios and rooms. The gym seats 650 and the theater seats 698.

During and after the dedication, learning continued with a relative bustle, although overall numbers were down due to some virtual learners and no Class of 2021 seniors.

Mike Detmer is a staff writer for the Dorchester Star and Star Democrat based in Maryland. You can reach him at mdetmer@chespub.com.

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