ROCHESTER — Superintendent Kyle Repucci is excited to announce the grand opening of the newly renovated R.W. Creteau Regional Technology Center.
A ceremony was held Wednesday, Jan. 22 at the 140 Wakefield St. facility. Over 300 community members were in attendance, along with local and state officials.
“This evening would not be possible without the vision of Richard Creteau,” said Director of the tech center Michele Halligan-Foley. “He wanted to give students hands on experiences that give them meaningful skills for life.”
For many, the Center represents an opportunity to build up the relationships between Rochester students, businesses and community members.
“When I walked in this evening, it took my breath away,” NH Department of Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut said. “It has been my privilege to watch this project unfold. As a community, you should be very proud.”
Rochester Mayor Caroline McCarley agreed.
“This was a phenomenal rebuild and Dick would not believe it,” Mayor McCarley said. “It’s going to be so amazing and I could not be happier.”
The center is home to over a dozen programs are available to Rochester, Wakefield, Somersworth, Dover, and Oyster River students students to take part in, focused on personalized learning and work-based approaches to learning. Programs include criminal justice, graphic design, culinary arts, health services, automotive and engineering.
Improvements to the site included a new public restaurant that be used by the Culinary Arts program, an expanded work area and additional bays in the automotive program space, and a new office for Holy Rosary Credit Union that allows the bank to be open to the public five days a week.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, the personalized learning commons of the Center was named after former Rochester Superintendent Michael Hopkins. He retired in June 2019 after serving in the district for over four decades.
“He has impacted so many of us,” Superintendent Repucci said. “Through his leadership, he has helped so many of us, particularly our students, achieve our goals.
Originally built in 1991, the renovation of the R.W. Creteau Regional Technology Center began in May 2018. The project cost $16.8 million, 75 percent of which was funded by the state.
Donors to the project include North East Precision, ECM Global Metrology, Eastern Propane, Strogens, Townsend Oil and Propane, Frisbie Hospital, Holy Rosary Credit Union and Sensitech Incorporated.