An official grand opening, with a ceremony and tours, is set for Sunday at the Sanford High School and Regional Technical Center, off Route 4, in Sanford. COURTESY PHOTO

SANFORD — The public has heard about the new Sanford High School and Regional Technical Center and later this week, they can get a glimpse of what’s inside.

On Sunday, there will be an open house and grand opening, where residents from around the city or from any of the 22 communities in the eight school districts that  send students to the regional technical center will be offered a big welcome.

A flag relay will mark the start of the event, with six pairs of runners bearing the SHS and SRTC flags down Main Street from the old high school to the new. Each of the six legs of the run will feature a current SHS student alongside a current SRTC student. The final leg of the relay is due to arrive at the ceremony site promptly at 1 p.m., when the grand opening ceremony will begin, said Brett Williams, one of the organizers.

School tours start at 11 a.m., and will continue after the opening ceremony until 3:30 p.m. Guided walking tours will be led by pairs of students representing SHS and SRTC, and will leave from the main entrance.

The 30-minute ceremony will be held in front of the main entrance of the new school, and marks the culmination of  a 15-year journey that began with the visioning of a new school in 2003.

Classes began at the school on Oct. 10.

The ceremony will feature remarks by Sanford School Superintendent David Theoharides and members of the Sanford School Committee, a key-passing ceremony, and a formal ribbon-cutting. Music will be provided by the SHS marching band and chorus. Williams said scores of individuals whose  contributions helped bring the project to fruition are scheduled to attend.

The school’s opening coincides with Sanford’s 250th Anniversary commemoration of its incorporation. Williams said Sanford City Manager Steve Buck will  seal a time capsule to be placed at the new school. The water-tight container will be buried in front of the main entrance and covered with a granite marker with instructions for a future generation to open it on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2068.

What will be inside? Lorisa Ricketts, of the Sanford 250th Committee, said plans for the time capsule are still being finalized, but she offered a list of some items to be included, like the grand opening program; newspapers with articles about Sanford’s 250th Anniversary and on the opening of the school; a 250th Anniversary Coin; the “Sanford 250 Years in Review” newspaper section from the Journal Tribune; photos of Sanford’s mill district and downtown, City Hall, schools, etc.; student comments on what they hope for the future; and a thumb drive with videos containing aerial footage of downtown, school construction, Mayor Tom Cote welcoming people to Sanford, and more.

“Technology may make this obsolete, but it won’t cost much, and will be so neat if it works,” said Ricketts.

The time capsule will also contain an invitation to those who open it to bury it again for the next generation to uncover.

Williams said limited seating at the ceremony will be available on a first-come basis. Parking will be restricted to the lots between the main building and Alumni Stadium; the small lot in front of the school will be closed for the ceremony.

He said guests are encouraged to arrive using the Route 4 entrance  (opposite Jagger Mill Road) to avoid getting held up behind the flag relay and marching band. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved inside to the competition gym.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or [email protected]

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