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August 21, 2013

Drywall replaced at Methuen High renovation due to mold fears

METHUEN — Water that leaked into the new high school auditorium this spring caused the construction contractor to remove some drywall and work on an elevator shaft, work that will not be billed to the city.

Consigli Construction removed the bottom two feet of drywall in the new auditorium under construction after heavy rains this spring as a preventative measure, said Gino Baroni of Trident Building and Properties Group, the project manager overseeing the nearly $100 million renovation and expansion of the high school.

“This is part of the normal construction process,” Baroni said. “The contractor was proactive and took care of it.”

The drywall was removed and an industrial hygienist was present for the work, he said. Some work is still to be finished on an elevator shaft. The space will be cleared and certified before people can use the space.

Consigli will absorb the cost of the work. “It’s going to be their contingency or cost because it was not caused or created by the owner,” Baroni said.

He and several Methuen officials said the newly renovated and expanded southern portion of the high school is on track to open for students on Sept 4.

Superintendent Judith Scannell said construction crews have “ramped up their workers” for the home stretch and the building’s custodial staff was asked to work second shift for cleanup.

“It’s very busy and we will get there, but it’s that push-comes-to-shove time,” she said yesterday.

Construction began in earnest last summer, when a total renovation of the south wing and the addition of a new wing began. The new wing includes a media center, a cafeteria, an auditorium and fine arts classrooms. Students in grades 10 through 12 took classes in the north wing while that construction was ongoing.

This year, students in those grades are to move into the new section while work begins on the north wing.

Ninth graders are housed at Central School on Ditson Place.

The entire school is scheduled to be completed by next summer.

Follow Douglas Moser on Twitter @EagleEyeMoser. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to eagletribune.com.

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