Lake dedicates new classroom area PDF Print E-mail
Written by DEBBIE ROGERS/Sentinel Staff Writer   
Saturday, 23 November 2013 18:14
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MILLBURY - Smart as a whip and fascinated by how things work, Joseph Baker probably would have been thrilled with the new classroom area at Lake High School.
He would have to settle for his name on the space.
The Joseph Baker Hall, six classrooms used by eighth-graders, was dedicated by the Lake Board of Education on Wednesday.
Baker, who died in February 2009, left his estate to Lake, and the $220,000 was used to "build out" some unfinished space in the high school to make more classroom space.
Bob Kapp, a longtime board of education member who graduated with Baker in 1950, said the former Lake valedictorian and Ford Motor Co. engineer would have enjoyed having his name on the new space.
"I'm sure he would be very pleased if he knew what that money was used for," Kapp said at the dedication ceremony.
"He was very ambitious with his studying. He was always prepared," Kapp said. "He could answer any question anyone would ask."
Some of his 16 surviving classmates were in attendance Wednesday.
In late spring, the Lake BOE decided to finish the "build out," and the 10,000-square-foot space was ready for classes in August. There are 150 eighth-graders who use the six classrooms, said principal Lee Herman.
The new high school, which cost $25.5 million and is 144,350-square-foot, was built after a tornado destroyed the former facility in a June 2010. It opened to students in August 2012.
The expansion cost approximately $375,000.
Baker never married or had children and went on to become an engineer at Ford. Baker credited Lake with his success and left his estate to the school district, said board president Tim Krugh.
Baker's heirs had contested the gift and the estate had been tied up in court. When it was resolved in the school district's favor, Lake received $220,000.
"Because he felt these years here at Lake High School were the best years of his life, he left his estate to Lake," Krugh said.
Kapp, in closing, paraphrased Winston Churchill: "You make a living with what you get, but you make a life with what you give. And that is certainly what Joe Baker did."
Last Updated on Saturday, 23 November 2013 21:34
 

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