NEW BEDFORD - For years kids in New Bedford knew of it solely as the Sea Lab. However, after a dedication ceremony on Friday morning, the building on 71 Portland Street in the city's south end will now be officially known as the William H. Taylor Elementary School.

Superintendent Dr. Pia Durkin, Mayor Jon Mitchell, and other elected officials gathered at the William H. Taylor School and Sea Lab to officially dedicate the building to its namesake.

The new building for William H. Taylor Elementary was connected to and built on the same site as the Sea Lab. With the completion of the new Taylor School this year, Taylor students began using the building in the fall. The older Taylor School building on Brock Avenue is currently being used former Hannigan School students until they move over to Irwin M. Jacobs Elementary School following its completion later this year.

"That building was built a few years ago to house sea lab, but we also knew that we wanted a new school building,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “So we figured that can still be Sea Lab during the summer time and during the school year kids can come down here from other schools every once in a while to go to Sea Lab. But we also think that the entire thing could be used as a school if it was made big enough.”

Funding for the new building comes almost entirely from the state. Representative Tony Cabral attended the ceremony and spoke about the role the School Building Authority (SBA) had in appropriating tax dollars to fund 80% of the project.

"I was involved in both the debate and the vote that took place to create the SBA,” Rep. Cabral said. "They've done a fantastic job to utilize the tax payer's money, and that's what really churns this authority to really have the ability create, working with cities and towns, schools of the 21st century,” he said.

The dedication of the building was officially recognized with a ribbon cutting following the conclusion of speeches from elected officials.

Superintendent of New Bedford Public Schools Dr. Pia Durkin credited the efforts of Mayor Mitchell's office, the City Council, state legislature, and more for using a “team effort” to complete this project, and others across the city for the school system.

"This shows you that when people work together and respect each other how much can get done," Dr. Durkin said. “Mayor Mitchell has been a staunch advocate with me that our kids in New Bedford have the very best at their fingertips to be able to do what they know best- to learn and to become contributing members of this community.”

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