Vel Phillips Middle School opened for the 2023-2024 school year.
On Sunday, September 17, the Oshkosh Area School District welcomed students, staff, families, and community members, into its brand-new Vel Phillips Middle School. The public dedication and open house drew an incredible crowd, and provided an opportunity to showcase the newest public school in Oshkosh.
The ceremony began at 4 p.m. and featured speeches from school and district leaders. Attendees were also able to hear what the new space means to students. Lisa Peterson, an eighth grader at Vel Phillips Middle School addressed the packed atrium and shared words of appreciation and excitement. Another feature of the program included remarks from Michael (Mike) Phillips, son of the late Vel Phillips. In his speech, Phillips shared that his mother was a big proponent of public education and that the new building - named in his mother’s honor - left him speechless. The ceremony ended with a commemorative ribbon-cutting ceremony by Vel Phillips RISE Crew students.
After the dedication ceremony, the public was invited to explore the building and observe the innovative facility through self-guided tours. “I was overwhelmed,” said Peg Olson, Oshkosh community member and northside resident, “I’ve been watching the whole building being built because I live so close. It’s just really amazing and a fantastic place.”
Beth Wyman, OASD Board of Education president commented that feedback from students and staff has been tremendously positive and impactful for the community. “Students are able to have learning spaces that are so conducive to learning, growing, thriving - and not just existing. They are being challenged everyday to learn more, to appreciate more, and to really become team members of this school and community.”
“Vel Phillips Middle School signals an incredible new start and exciting future for our middle schoolers on the northside,” said Dr. Bryan Davis, OASD superintendent. “Our journey here today was paved by countless individuals and organizations, advocates for public education and ambassadors committed to doing what is best for our students. As we dedicate this school today, it is our hope that it serves as a testament to what we can achieve when we come together with a common purpose.”
Vel Phillips Middle School is one component of the first phase of the District’s long-range facilities plan, supported by voters as a part of the District’s 2020 Capital Referendum. The new middle school combines former Merril and Webster Stanley School communities, housing 800 students in a state-of-the-art facility. To learn more about the District’s Facilities Plan, visit www.oshkosh.k12.wi.us/facilities.