Montrose School breaks ground on new Medfield campus

bySeana Murphy Dorich--Pilot correspondent

Montrose school student government officers, Laura Smith, Gabrielle Rex, Bridget Baker, and Helen Keefe are pictured at the Sept. 8 groundbreaking ceremony for the schools new Medfield location.?? Pilot photo/ Seana Murphy Dorich

MEDFIELD On Sept. 8, Montrose School broke ground at the site of its new permanent campus at 29 North Street in Medfield. Montrose is an independent college preparatory school for girls, inspired by the philosophy of the Catholic Church and the teachings of St. Josemaria Escriva. More than 300 supporters attended, including parents, students, alumnae and friends.

The event was monumental for Montrose School, which has rented space since its founding 27 years ago. Throughout the years, Montrose has moved from Brookline to Westwood, and most recently to Natick, where the school rents a building from St. Patrick Parish. Currently, 131 students attend grades 6 through 12.

The school expects to move into its new home by January 2007. Head of School, Dr. Karen Bohlin, explained the excitement over planting the schools roots in Medfield.

Being nestled in the center of Med-field will allow our students and their families access to shops, restaurants, library, cultural opportunities and other services so important to a school community, she said. We are looking forward to building relationships with our neighbors and collaborating in ways that will benefit both the town and the school.

Founding parent G. Edward Noonan called the event very exciting and remarked that the town has been very friendly to its newest neighbors.

As a founder it is thrilling to see Montrose at its permanent location after so many years, and the town of Medfield has been so warm and welcoming. The whole atmosphere tonight is great.

The schools new campus has a rich history in Medfield. Originally, the home of a straw-hat mill, the site more recently housed Bayer Laboratories. Montrose has hired Nauset Construction to renovate existing buildings and to create a campus complete with two athletic fields. The schools main academic building was open for tours throughout the evening so attendees could see the progress first-hand. The school has dedicated one playing field to Father Richard Rieman, the schools founding chaplain, who continues to be a familiar and much-loved presence at Montrose School.

Dr. Bohlin toasted the event as the schools second founding. Other speakers at the event included alumna and Notre Dame graduate Meg Rowan, chairman of the board Neil Jacob, Nauset Construction president Tony Papantonis and student government president Helen Keefe.

The mission of Montrose School is to educate the whole person through integrating academic excellence and personal character development. In 1999, the school earned the prestigious National Award for Character.

Director of Development and Alumnae Relations, Deborah Zatkowski, said the move to Medfield will bolster the schools ability to serve more students.

As we make the move to Med-field, well be able to reach out to more communities, because of our permanence, she said.

To current families, the day marked a new and exciting era.

I think its great, said Ellen Baker, mother of Bridgett 07 and Diana 09, Its been worth the wait.