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January 14, 2014

Major progress made on Salem school renovations

Contractors hammering away at Salem schools

SALEM — It’s been a cold and snowy winter, but that’s not stopping contractors from completing major renovations at Fisk and Soule elementary schools.

They’re raising walls and roofs. The buildings are being enclosed, allowing contractors to work protected from the elements, Superintendent of Schools Michael Delahanty said.

“I’ve been very pleased with the work,” Delahanty said yesterday.

The $16 million project began last summer and isn’t expected to be wrapped up until late this summer, Delahanty said. Minor work is also being done at Haigh School.

While renovations at Soule are a week ahead of schedule, the news isn’t as good at Fisk — but the weather isn’t to blame, Delahanty said.

The discovery of extensive ledge and inadequate soil at Fisk have put the project at least four to six weeks behind, he said. Excavating was a challenge, and Delahanty said tons of suitable soil had to be hauled in.

Otherwise, the remainder of the work is on schedule, he said. Delahanty is hopeful the project can be completed over the summer before students return for classes. The schools serve students in kindergarten though fifth grade.

He estimated the work at the schools is about 15 to 20 percent complete.

“I’m not worried at this point,” he said yesterday.

The district has been keeping residents updated on the progress through its website, Sau57.org., posting photographs and detailed descriptions of the work.

The latest work at Soule includes raising walls and completing mechanical and electrical work. The new library, kindergarten, school entrance and administration area are being framed.

The roof of the new gymnasium is under construction. Utilities are also being installed and drywall will be put in next.

At Fisk, Delahanty said steel is being installed and new boilers were just put in. The building is also being framed and enclosed.

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