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The Eagles of Marcy St. School
Updated to include information on the Demolition (July 1962)

Taken from:  Southbridge Evening News – Wednesday, July 11, 1962

Like a giant fist, a steel ball weighing 2,000 pounds swings out from a crane to deliver a devastating blow to the Marcy Street school building being razed today.  LaPlante Construction Co. of Webster started the work yesterday under a $5,450 contract.

With a rumbling crash, the ball knocks down a portion of the wall on the east side of the 64-year old building that has been declared too obsolete for further use.  The job of wiping out the structure is to take about a month.

Back in place, the ball is poised for another demolishing punch.  Workers yesterday uncovered a Calvin Coolidge bust in the roof.  The building’s stone Eagles go to Aerie 334, Fraternal Order of Eagles, and to Susan Whitney, 14, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Whitney of 122 Litchfield Ave.

Taken from:  Southbridge Evening News – Monday, July 2, 1962
(This was before they found out how hard it was to demolish!!)


A crane swinging a two-ton ball can smash the Marcy Street school building to ground level in two to three days, a spokesman for the firm awarded the contract to demolish the edifice, said today.But the ball and crane may not be used, depending on what portion of the school building is considered salvable by the demolition company.

Edward LaPlante, manager of LaPlante Brothers, Inc., Webster, which bid $5,450 to tumble the building, said that experts from the firm have been in Southbridge in the last couple of weeks to determine what part of the construction merits salvaging. A study being made of the wooden portion of the roof, the wooden rafters and studding, to see if they are worth saving.  If so, the demolition will take longer because it will involve a great deal of handwork, LaPlante said.

Once the school is felled, the bricks will be picked up by derrick.  They are used as fillers in other buildings and as inside brick in constructions. In any event, the job cannot take longer than 31 days, according to the terms of the contract with the Town of Southbridge.  The terms call for work to commence Tuesday, and be completed Aug. 5 this year.

The starting date of demolition was set by Selectmen for a time when all students and faculty of Mary E. Wells Junior High School, the next building to the one being torn down, are out for the summer vacation. The LaPlante firm, started 25 years ago by the three brothers, Edward, Arthur and Joseph LaPlante, last came into Southbridge for demolition work after the 1955 flood, Edward said.

Biggest problem in demolition, he said, is not the razing of the building itself.  It’s hauling off the debris because of the distance between the school building and the Town Dump. “That’s a job,” LaPlante said.

The Bidding process:

Taken from:  Southbridge Evening News – Tuesday, May 29, 1962


LaPlante Brothers, Inc. of Webster will demolish the Marcy Street School building. The firm was awarded the contract for the work on a bid of $5,450 at last night’s Selectmen’s meeting. The town voted $6,000 for razing the school, unoccupied since the operation of Southbridge High School, now Mary E. Wells Junior pupils occupy the former high school, now Mary E. Wells Junior High School.

The lowest bid, $4,137 from Walter Regep Excavation Co., Southbridge, was invalidated because the submission of the bid did not adhere to the call for bids as advertised. Bidders included Federal Building & Wrecking Co., Millbury, $6,400; and Northeast Crane Service, Worcester, $9,940.

Postcard from Paul Coiteux's collection

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Dick Whitney
Last update Dec 26, 2001