HUDSON — The atmosphere was festive despite a constant drizzle Sept. 8 as the Hudson City School District celebrated the groundbreaking for its new $44 million middle school.

Superintendent Phillip Herman thanked the community for its support.

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“What do we want our children like as adults?” Herman said. “The community has shown they want their students to become curious, to be life-long learners, to be empathetic and to explore. We work together to meet our students’ needs.”

Funding for the new school will come from an $81.5 million, 4.97-mill bond issue approved by voters in November 2017. The 176,000-square-foot building will serve as the new educational home for the district’s sixth through eighth grades.

Construction for the new middle school, which will be east of the current middle school and Malson Field, is scheduled to begin in 2019, and the building is expected to be completed in August 2020. The district’s third, fourth and fifth-graders will use the current middle school during the 2020-21 school year while East Woods and McDowell are being renovated.

Demolition of the old middle school — except for the 1927 building — will begin in fall or winter of 2021 and should be completed in the spring of 2022, said Sheryl Sheatzley, manager of communications and alumni outreach. The current school is at 77 N. Oviatt St.

A “superintendent’s committee” has been established and is meeting to study and make recommendations for the 1927 building, Sheatzley said. The recommendations and plan for the building will need to be in place by the spring of 2021.

“Needless to say, we are thrilled that in less than two years, our students will be able to get their education in a brand new, state-of-the-art school,” said Board of Education President David Zuro. “This will be an outstanding facility that will serve the students well into the future.”

Hudson Middle School Principal Kimberly Cockley said the groundbreaking taking place on a rainy day could also be hopeful.

“I’ve heard that rain on a wedding day is good luck, so I’m assuming the construction crews at Hammond Construction will assure it’s the same thing with a groundbreaking,” Cockley said. “As a mom, as a community member and as an educator, I’m grateful for the Hudson community.”

Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423,, or @AprilKHelms_RPC.