LACONIA — There will be lots of new things for Laconia High School alumni to explore at the third annual all-school reunion later this week.
Among the highlights will be the the recently completed additions and renovations at the high school and the Huot Regional Technical Education Center, a $16.8 million project which has added a new 32,000-square-foot building at the school which houses a student-run restaurant, new chemistry labs and the new artificial turf athletic field at the Bank of New Hampshire Stadium.
One of the highlights of the weekend will be the dedication of the football field to former football coach and athletic director Jim Fitzgerald, who coached the Sachems from 1973 to 2001, a period in which they appeared in the playoffs 19 times and advanced to 12 state finals and won three state titles.
The dedication will take place at 6:45 p.m. Friday night, just prior to the 7 p.m. game against Hanover High School.
Members of the 2013 Reunion Committee, Bill Greeley, class of 1971, and Janet Brough, office manager for the School District, and the Laconia Alumni Association, Randy Brough, class of 1975, were guests Saturday morning on Niel Young's Advocates show on WEZS radio and talked about the upcoming weekend.
Brough said that the Laconia High School Open House, Homecoming and Alumni Reunion gets underway at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday with the dedication of the Richard A. Dearborn Science Center at the high school. The lab is named for 1954 Laconia High School graduate Richard Dearborn, the founder of Eptam Plastics, which is now located in Northfield.
There will be an open house from 6-7:30 p.m. at the high school following the dedication ceremony.
On Friday, September 27 alumni who will be participating in the homecoming parade, will gather on the lawn at Laconia High School at 3:45 p.m., where cars from the decade in which they graduated, including a 1930 Duesenberg, will be available for them to ride in during the parade, which gets underway at 4 p.m., will go into downtown Laconia before returning to the high school.
At 5 p.m. a Meet and Greet reception will be held at the Meredith Village Savings Bank Culinary Arts Center at the Huot Center.
The ongoing alumni reunion will be held from 6-10 p.m. at the high school, with tours of the school to view all the recent renovations.
Decade tables will be set up in the culinary arts center where videos and memorabilia will be available and alumni can share memories.
Greeley recalled that he and his wife, Bonnie (Pike) Greeley, a 1973 LHS grad, met at a high school football game and that they have always held good memories of their student days at LHS and hope to share their experiences since graduation at the 40th reunion of Bonnie's class, which takes place over the weekend.
Randy Brough, who is Laconia Public Library director, said that proceeds realized from the LHS Alumni Reunion will go to the Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation through the LHS Alumni Scholarship Fund.
He said that since 1956 the scholarship foundation has awarded 4,300 students $4.6 million in scholarships thanks to the generosity of 500 donors or donor funds.
He said that the foundation will be holding its 13th Annual Community Spelling Bee at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 17 at the LHS Auditorium and that the Laconia Library team will be one of the participants.
During the weekend the LHS Alumni Reunion Committee will be awarding an honorary LHS Alumni Award to former Superintendent of Schools Bob Champlin, who worked for 31 years in the Laconia school system, the last 13 as superintendent.
Homecoming weekend will continue on Saturday with a number of athletic contests at the Bank of New Hampshire Stadium, field hockey at 9:30 a.m., girls soccer at noon and 1:30 p.m., boys soccer at 3:30 and 5 p.m. and volleyball contests in the LHS gym at 3 and 4:30 p.m.
Janet Brough said that the idea for the reunion weekend originated with Jim Carroll, class of 1965, and has proved very popular with LHS graduates.