Home stretch for construction projects as back-to-school season nears

Aug 7, 2018

With just a few more weeks to go before the first day of school, construction crews are working hard to wrap up all of the major construction projects underway during the busy summer season.

At the August 6 School Committee meeting, School Business Administrator James Kiely gave an update on the major projects underway. The biggest project is the complete replacement of the Dartmouth Middle School roof.

The $5.8 million project includes an overhaul of the building's 37 roof systems. It is also partially funded with a state grant, and will have a 30-year life expectancy.

Kiely said the expectation is to have all major construction wrapped up by the end of the week involving the actual removal and installation of the new roof. However, detail work will likely continue for the next few weeks and possibly into September. Kiely said work that continues into the new school year would be limited and timed to avoid any disruptions to classes.

“As long as the major construction is done, we can time their work so it’s minimally disruptive,” Kiely said.

At Potter Elementary School, a complete in-house renovation of the school’s modular units is nearing completion. The buildings were completely gutted and redone, resulting in a significant savings over replacing the entire modular unit. Some finishing touches are still in progress.

“It’s essentially a brand new classroom,” Kiely noted. “They’re very pleased over at the Potter School with what’s been happening there.”

At the high school, rooms for the new innovation lab are almost ready, although equipment has not yet been moved into them yet. The district is building the lab with a $500,000 state grant to purchase state-of-the-art technology, such as 3D printers. Through another state grant, new LED lighting will also be installed at the high school.

District-wide, antennas and wiring has been installed for the district’s new radio system. The project was approved at the Spring Town Meeting. Schools are also getting new water bottle refilling systems.