"The design of the school is visionary and contains many flexible learning spaces that encourage collaboration, creativity, the use of technology and the ability to personalize or differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all students," said Erich Ledebuhr, HMS principal. "The building design increases learning opportunities in the areas of science, technology, art, engineering and math."
The new 85,000-square-foot school is operated by the Lincoln School Department under contract to the Department of Defense Education Activity, or DODEA.
DODEA required that the new middle school meet 21st Century Learning standards.
According to the 21st Century Learning website, this type of learning includes a "holistic view of 21st century teaching and learning" by combining "a discrete focus on 21st century student outcomes with innovative support systems to help students master the multi-dimensional abilities required."
On hand to mark the occasion was Col. David R. Dunklee, installation commander, who is also a parent of two Hanscom Middle School students.
"The design is meant to challenge the traditional way of thinking, inspire our children to see potential in their environment and serve as a point of departure for our children's imagination," he said.
The ceremony included remarks from U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, who represents Lincoln and other nearby towns in Congress.
"As we sit here on Hanscom Air Force Base, which is committed to our national security, the best way we ensure our security as a country, and a peaceful future, is through educating our children," she said. "So we are really bringing together today all those themes and all those hopes for our future that are embodied in this gorgeous facility."
The state-of-the-art facility also includes two general-purpose classrooms, a gymnasium, information center, computer lab, science lab, specialist room, music and art rooms, a classroom for learning impaired students and more.
The school's principal also discussed the unique environmental features of the new school.
"The building is environmentally friendly, featuring integrated systems like photovoltaic panels, rainwater harvesting, solar hot water, high performance HVAC [Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning] and lighting systems," he said. "In addition to being energy efficient, these features can be used as learning tools."
The Lincoln School District superintendent spoke about the planning involved in the project.
"This project represents many years of planning and development," said Dr. Rebecca McFall. "It has been a true partnership between a large number of organizations."
McFall also thanked those who call the new school home.
"Many thanks to the faculty, staff and students who have done so much to make this move not only a smooth transition, but a launch into a future of innovation, engagement and authentic learning," she said.
The school includes a new playground and site improvements such as signage, fencing, paving, landscaping, exterior lighting and utilities.
The new facility accommodates more than 300 fourth-through-eighth-grade students, some of whom discussed what the new school means to them.
"We made the most of our old school, but now we have a beautiful place to call home and a safe place for us and our ideas," said Allison McSwain, an HMS eighth-grader. "I look forward to watching Hanscom students grow and learn as we continue to discover and make the most of the new learning opportunities available to us."