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Salem high school renovation plans reaching final stages

SALEM — Since the successful passage of the $75 million high school renovation and reconstruction project in March, the focus has been on finalizing the design plans.

The project is in the schematic design phase, according to Superintendent Michael Delahanty. The work on the first phase is scheduled to begin in April 2015.

Lance Whitehead of Lavallee Brensinger, the architectural firm for the project, said there has been a lot of progress on the plans since the bond approval.

Specifically, Whitehead said the firm has been working in conjunction with the high school renovation committee and school staff on the project.

“In the summer of 2015, there is a lot of work that is proposed to be done, with some of the enabling work beginning as early as April,” said Whitehead.

Much of the first phase will take place near the main entrance of the high school, the cafeteria, kitchen and main gym.

The second phase, scheduled for the fall, winter and spring of the 2015-16 school year, includes building a new auditorium, music spaces, gymnasium and locker rooms.

The third phase, which will take place from 2016 through 2017, will see some of the heaviest construction, according to Whitehead. That phase includes the construction of the new Career and Technical Education center as well as the entire new science, technology and math wing.

One of the main goals at this time, according to Whitehead, is working with the school department, athletic department and staff to determine how classrooms and existing space will be used during the construction.

“In looking at the overall design, it is consistent with our pre-bond efforts,” said Whitehead. “A lot of our time has been diligently spent adding more information, resolving how the spaces will work together.”

There has also been a great effort making sure the classroom spaces are designed and built as effectively as possible.

“We are trying to get as much information on the drawings as we can so we know the rooms are highly functional for today’s curriculum, and we’re confident they will be functional for future curriculum.”

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