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September 08. 2013 9:39PM

Salem school renovation project set to start next week

SALEM — Construction on the $17 million elementary school renovation project is slated to start the week of Sept. 16.

In March, voters approved the project, which will be financed through two bonds. The project includes additions and renovations at the Fisk and Soule schools as well as smaller updates at the Haigh School.

The design documents for the project are nearly completed, and the project’s construction manager, Bonnette, Page, and Stone, has put out proposals and received bids for site work, masonry, and steel, according to superintendent Michael Delahanty.

“We anticipate the site work will begin the week of Sept. 16, so we’ll see the construction trailers and construction fencing separating the actual work from the students, staff, and visitors coming in,” said Delahanty.

There have been meetings with parents at the Fisk and Soule schools informing them about the project, safety measures, and new traffic patterns, according to the superintendent.

The projects at the two schools will be done in four phases, with the anticipation that the entire project will be completed by the middle of August next year, in time for the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.

“They are starting with the new construction, and when that space is finished around February vacation, we will move some classrooms into those finished new spaces and begin renovating the older spaces,” said Delahanty.

The project team meets regularly to make sure the project is remaining on time and on budget, he added.

Currently, Delahanty said the project is within $50,000 of the maximum estimated budget, but he said he is confident that there will be more favorable bids coming in and that the project will come in under budget.

By mid-October, the construction manager will be able to determine the final guaranteed price for the project and will then be responsible for sticking to that budget, said Delahanty.

Several School Board members said they have talked to staff at the schools who said they are excited about the project.

“I spoke to several staff members about the outcome, and they seem enthusiastic and well prepared,” said board chairman Bernard Campbell.

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