By Bill Kirk
---- — ANDOVER — Weather-permitting, construction crews should begin work next week on the Cormier Youth Center.
But Mother Nature may have other plans. A forecasted storm and unseasonably cold temperatures this week could force a delay.
Chris Huntress, chairman of the Youth Center Building Committee, said tests will be conducted to first check the depth of the frost line and determine the moisture content of the soil at the youth center site behind Doherty Middle School on Bartlet Street.
If the ground isn’t too wet or too frozen, large pieces of construction equipment will begin “rolling onto the site the first week of April,” Huntress said. The contractor will then begin the five- to six-week process of installing a foundation, after which steel will be delivered to the site some time in May.
Cranes will then be used to set the steel framework of the building onto the concrete footings, he said.
“There are actually seven pieces of the building,” Huntress said. “Each piece was constructed independently.”
Once the steel is up, pre-built, panelized wall pieces will be dropped into the steel building, at which point, he said, “it starts to look like a traditional building.”
The exterior of the building should be completed by the fall, with interior work set to be finished by Dec. 1 for a grand opening.
The final price tag of the project remains at $5.8 million, of which $2 million is from taxpayers. The rest was raised by the Andover Youth Foundation.
The construction start is set to coincide with the annual Andover Youth Foundation telethon, taking place April 3 and 4. Additional funding of around $700,000 is still needed to complete a portion of the inside of the center, with money raised through the telethon going toward that goal.