WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new elementary school construction project is underway in Westfield.

City officials joined members of the construction project to break ground after nearly 13 years of the Franklin Ave / Abner Gibbs Replacement School Wednesday. The new elementary school, which has not yet been named will be located at 133 Franklin Street.

Students from the Abner Gibbs school will now have new and improved classrooms, science and technology labs, educational support facilities, and psychologists. According to the principal of Franklin Avenue Elementary, the school had some roofing and boiling problems.

“There were actual mechanical problems but then there were space issues as well. While our classrooms are much larger than Abners we don’t have a music room, we don’t have an art room we don’t have a dedicated space for health,” Chris Tolpa, Principal of Franklin Avenue Elementary School in Westfield told 22News.


The new school is scheduled to be completed by November of 2024 and up and running over the winter holidays of 2024 into 2025. Neighbors of the school can expect increased truck traffic and some construction noise during the day.

“The district is beyond excited that this long-awaited project is now underway,’ stated Superintendent of Schools, Stefan Czaporowski, “We can’t wait to open our modern, state of the art elementary school in the downtown area for students from Franklin Avenue and Abner Gibbs Elementary Schools. The school department is very appreciative of the community support that we have received to move this project forward.”

“This is a really big deal for our kids,” said Mayor Mike McCabe, “The schools were showing their age, and while each of the schools’ excellent, committed teachers and staff made it work, the joining of the two schools in one new beautiful school with updated amenities will inspire an even stronger learning environment for our students. I am fortunate to be a small part of its long story and appreciate all the effort it took to get us to the beginning of construction.”

If you are interested in getting email updates on the new Westfield school project you can contact the Owner’s Project Manager visit schoolsofwestfield.org.

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Kiara Smith is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since March 2023. Follow Kiara on X @KiaraBSmith1 and view her bio to see more of her work.