Mayor Richard C. Howard cheered the completion of his legacy of school building in the city at a rededication ceremony at Malden High School today.
The $77 million renovation of the high school is the last piece in a 16-year effort by Howard to remake Malden schools, largely from the ground up.
"It's a tremendous personal pleasure for me to be at this before the end of my service," said Howard, who is leaving office to become town manager in Winchester, during a brief ceremony. "We've been doing this literally since the January when I came in 16 years ago."
In all, Howard has overseen the building of five community K-8 schools, an early childhood education center, and now the top to bottom refurbishment of Malden High School.
Work at the high school began in 2004, was interrupted by a funding hiatus, and picked back up again in 2009, until it was completed this month.
In all, Howard oversaw the administration of $200 million in state assistance to build the schools.
"I don't know of any other community that got as much money out of us," said Jack McCarthy, interim executive director of the Massachusetts State Building Authority.
"People at the [agency] said this was the model for how a school renovation should work," he said.
Improvements to the school's three buildings, first erected in 1939, include internal upgrades to the heating and ventilation systems, new wiring, and upgraded connectivity.
Each of the school's classrooms have received a total facelift, and now include ceiling mounted digital projectors that link to touch-sensitive white boards.
Also installed were new floors and fixtures in the school's gymnasium, in addition to a myriad of upgrades and redesigned classroom configurations for special education and home economics departments.
The Jenkins Auditorium was also restored to its vibrant art Deco roots, and was the setting for the day's fete.
Also topping the building now is a 50 kilowatt array of solar panels that will chip away at the school's electricity costs.