On September 7, 2010 the Milford Central Academy opened its doors to students for the first time. Two months later Milford School District’s newest edition celebrated its official opening. Heinz Retzlaff, Director of Operations, took this opportunity to show off the new $40 million building; and there was much to show off. The new school, which has become home to 600 students, is receiving praise from administrators, faculty, and students alike. The state-of-the- art school provides teachers and students with new educational equipment while the building itself is using green technology to save money and lead the way in alternative energy use.
The new Milford Central Academy, which serves Milford’s students in grades 8 and 9, began its journey in 2007 when a school referendum provided $36 million in construction funding. Taking just under two years to complete the project, the Academy broke ground in October 2007. “When I became Superintendent [in June of 2009] the first thing they handed me was a hard hat. With no roof or windows on the Academy when I took office it is now amazing to see the completed project,” said Superintendent Sharon Kanter. Her remarks were given to a group of community members in the cafeteria which is lined with flooring made entirely of recycled tires.
Each classroom in the Academy is fitted with the newest technology in learning including a new apparatus called a Smart Board. Used in business and government settings around the world this technology allows the students to comprehend materials through interactive learning and assistance from their classmates. By using touch detection students can interact with lesson plans that include animation and sound.
The Central Academy is also leading the way in using alternative energy to power the daily operations of the building. Gipe Associates, Inc. engineered the school in a way that allows it to use energy most efficiently and save money; money that can be put back into the classroom. The new technology far exceeds the old money saving techniques of motion sensitive lighting. Geothermal HVAC and Solar Photovoltaic Systems are the wave of the future. The Geothermal HVAC system uses the heat of the earth to provide energy for the heating and cooling of the entire building, demanding less dependency on oil and gas. The Solar Photovoltaic System creates energy from 744 solar panels on the roof and creates a method where the school can make money by selling excess energy back to the power grid.
Among all this new technology the Milford Central Academy possesses one thing that is critical to a child’s ability to learn; the commitment and dedication of the teachers. Mark McDaniel, principal of the Academy, and his staff have met this school with pride and a renewed sense of excitement. Their slogan “Destination Success” emphasizes the significance of reaching children at this age and stressing the importance of education. Principal McDaniel recognizes “The eighth and ninth grades are such an important transitional age and in many cases can determine whether a student succeeds during the rest of their educational career.” To Principal McDaniel, working with this age group is not just a challenge but very rewarding.
The Milford Central Academy is built for success. New educational equipment, the push for new alternative energy sources and the faculty’s focus on creating a strong educational foundation for students will lead the way. School districts from around the state and country will be looking to the Milford Central Academy to provide answers as a model school.