Voters Will Likely Be Asked To Name WHS Auditorium After Joanne Benton At Annual Town Meeting

WILMINGTON, MA – The Wilmington School Committee recently voted to send a letter to the Wilmington Board of Selectmen recommending that the Selectmen place an article on the Annual Town Meeting warrant to name the Wilmington High School Auditorium after late Superintendent Joanne Benton.

“There’s been a lot of discussion over the last 12 months about naming the auditorium… after Joanne Benton,” said School Committee Chair Steve Bjork. ” Joanne was so instrumental in making [the auditorium] look like it does today, including the orchestra pit, which wouldn’t exist if not for her advocacy.”

“Superintendent Benton argued to the Massachusetts School Building Authority that Wilmington needed a larger auditorium that their formula would afford given the number of Wilmington students involved band and strings,” recalled Interim Superintendent Paul Ruggiero. “It was a very compelling argument and Wilmington would up with a bigger auditorium.”

“She dedicated so much of her life to this community,” added Bjork. “I would love to see a lasting tribute to her memory.”

Bjork’s colleagues agreed, unanimously voting to draft a letter to the Selectmen, asking them to place the facility’s naming on an article to be voted on by the townspeople at Annual Town Meeting on May 5.

Selectmen typically finalize the Town Meeting Warrant in early-to-mid March.

Bjork also noted he was hoping the School Committee will soon make a naming recommendation regarding the High School’s Band Room.

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One thought

  1. If anyone thinks that the auditorium is some beautiful piece of architecture then he or she should be the first one to sign up for the detox center. To pay $87 million dollars for something that consists of an auditorium with concrete cinder blocks as its finished walls should be an offense to the taxpayers of Wilmington. Anyone with any sense for proper acoutical engineering and aestetics would consider this laughable. When a person is in a place of leadership, he or she should do what is best and right for the community and not what cheapens a building and puts more profit in the hands of the contractor. Joanne Benton (may her soul rest in peace) should have been arguing that the contaminated soil that continues to lay in the ground be replaced with the soil that was removed from under the foundation. I believe this soil(that was replaced with structural fill) was given away for free. It now lays under a parking lot owned by another developer and should be under the schools parking lot which is above the contaminated soil. The town now faces the risk that ground water flowing in the direction toward the oil spill will move it toward the wetlands. These wetlands are upstream from the downstream communities that have their water supplies fed from them. Many people who have done great things for our community and country (who have sacrificed their life and been a resident of Wilmington) should be given consideration when it comes to naming a building or a wing after them, however, this may be a dishonor to them considering the ugliness of the auditorium. Stating the obvious such as the sizing of an auditorium does not trump the honor of sacrificing ones life for his country or community.

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