Students in Fall River and Westport kick off school year in new buildings

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WLNE) – Two brand new schools opened their doors for the first time Tuesday.

Durfee High School students in Fall River and Westport Middle and High School students kicked off their first day back in new buildings after years of construction and millions of dollars in renovations.

“I’ve seen pictures,” Durfee HS Sophomore Denstiny Arruda said. “I think it’s nice! It’s something I think we all needed.”

“She’s very excited to be here,” Durfee HS parent Jeremie Pereira said. “Being at the old school for 2 years… it’s going to be a huge difference.”

A difference $263-million in the making.

Parents like Pereira say it was a change much needed and makes him feel better sending his daughter back during COVID.

“With the ventilation in a new school like this compared to – well, I went to the old school myself and you couldn’t open the windows, and the ventilation was poor,” Pereira said. “It’ll be a lot safer and cleaner.”

Over in Westport, it was the same story. Superintendent Thomas Aubin showed off the $97-million project that combined the middle and high school.

“We’re one of the few 5 to 12 schools,” Superintendent Aubin said. “If you’re going to be educating students for 8 years, there’s a real sense of gravitas in terms of our mission.”

Their mission: bringing in state of the art technology and keeping kids safe. Superintendent Aubin says that’s especially true since the project started after the middle school was shut down years ago when hazardous material was found inside.

“We have UV technology throughout the buildings so that’s a real plus. The community is expecting us to keep our kids safe.”

Categories: Back to School, Fall River, Massachusetts, News, Our Schools