EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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March 26, 2014

Salem progressing with school projects

Three schools being renovated now, Salem High up next

SALEM — Voters just approved a $74 million renovation of Salem High School two weeks ago, but preparations are well underway.

Meanwhile, contractors are hammering away at Fisk and Soule elementary schools and are making substantial progress overhauling both buildings, according to Superintendent Michael Delahanty. Minor work at Haigh School is scheduled for this summer.

About 50 percent of the construction is completed at Soule, Delahanty said yesterday. Fisk is nearly 40 percent done, he said.

“We’re very excited,” Fisk principal George Murray said. “They are really moving along right now.”

At the high school, work already has begun on the project’s design and engineering, Delahanty said.

“Right now, the schematic designs are being completed and then the construction documents will be done,” he said.

Construction isn’t expected to start until April 2015, he said. The project includes construction of a Career and Technical Education Center, funded through a $10.7 million state grant.

Initial work will include demolition of the school’s auditorium and performing arts center. The project, approved by 71 percent of voters at the polls March 11, is being handled by Lavallee Bresinger Architects, Trident Group Bonette, and Page & Stone of Laconia.

The school district will soon have a new website showing work on the project, Delahanty said.

Construction at Fisk and Soule — a $16 million project — is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of the next school year.

The need to excavate extensive ledge outside Fisk has made meeting the deadline a challenge, putting the project six to eight weeks behind schedule, Delahanty said.

Contractors plan to make up for lost time by adjusting construction schedules, he said.

“We are a little behind at Haigh, but we are moving quickly at Soule,” he said, “with the hope of getting Soule done quicker than expected and then moving the crews over to Fisk. Our intention is to make sure both schools are finished (before fall).”

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