Groveland town leaders are seeking input from local residents on whether a new addition at Dr. Elmer S. Bagnall Elementary School should be named for the late Donald R. Beaton or another prominent Groveland resident.
During its July 13 meeting, Groveland selectmen received and discussed a letter from resident James Dole asking the board for consideration in naming the Bagnall School addition after Beaton, operator of Haverhill-based Beaton Management and long associated with the Hamel Foundation.
“Before making a decision, the board would like to see if there is an interest in naming the new addition after a past or present Groveland resident, and if there are any other nominees,” a spokesperson said in a statement. A deadline was not listed.
The longtime civic and professional leader and assistant professor of accounting at Merrimack College passed away in 2008. He was a nine-year member of both Groveland and Pentucket Regional school committees, a member of the Bagnall School building committee and was a chairman of the Groveland Finance Committee for many years. He was also active in the Rotary Club of Haverhill, past president of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, a trustee of the Haverhill YWCA and served on boards for several organizations.
An online survey at grovelandma.com asks participants to indicate “yes,” “no” or “makes no difference,” and to offer a nomination.
The Bagnall School, housing grades K through 6 and a preschool, was constructed in 1964 and opened in 1966. It was named after Dr. Elmer S. Bagnall, who worked as Groveland’s town doctor for many years, according to the school’s history web page. In 1949, Dr. Bagnall was named Massachusetts’ first “General Practitioner of the Year.”