New Oyster River Middle School to Open August 23

For immediate release

DURHAM – The Oyster River Cooperative School District invites the public to attend an official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new state-of-the-art Oyster River Middle School.


Tuesday, August 23 at 11 a.m.


Oyster River Middle School, 1 Coe Drive, under the sun canopy


  • Superintendent James Morse
  • Michael Williams, School Board Chair
  • Brian Cisneros, School Board Member
  • Representative of United States Senator Maggie Hassan
  • Representative of United States Senator Jeanne Shaheen
  • Representative of U.S. Representative Chris Pappas
  • Kitty Marple, President of Durham City Council
  • Scott Bugbee, Chairman of the Board of Lee Select
  • Katrin Kasper, Vice Chair of the Board of Lee Select
  • Fritz Green, Chairman of the Board of Madbury Select
  • Andre Kloetz, President, Bauen Corp.
  • Anne Ketterer, Chief Architect, Lavallee Brensinger Architects
  • Kate Peters, Director of Energy Efficiency, Eversource


The Oyster River Cooperative School District will officially open Oyster River Middle School, which opened to students on February 28.

The new school was built to replace a building constructed in 1935. The project was backed by two bond issues approved by voters in the home communities of Durham, Lee and Madbury.

The building is designed to meet several criteria:

  • Academic mission: The learning spaces are designed to be flexible and allow students to work in small and large groups. Corridors have been minimized. Select art classrooms will have access to outdoor classroom spaces, which will include a “living roof” with vegetation. The school’s centerpiece is a 901-seat concert hall, reflecting the district’s strong commitment to the performing arts.
  • Energy sustainability: The school is expected to be the largest energy self-sufficient building in New Hampshire. Solar panels, energy-efficient LED lights, natural light and advanced climate systems will save approximately $2 million in energy over 20 years.
  • Well-being and safety: The school includes the latest security technologies. The main entrance is set back from the road, increasing pedestrian safety on campus.
  • Historical relevance: The facade of the building includes words used in the native culture. The icons reflect both the region’s shipbuilding history and the contributions of its indigenous peoples. The cafeteria/common area floor features a depiction of the River Oyster and the three communities in the district.

Architectural firm Lavallee Brensinger of Manchester designed the school. Bauen Corp. de Meredith served as general contractor.

The new Oyster River Middle School will open Aug. 23. (Photo courtesy of Oyster River Cooperative School District)

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