PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The superstructure of the new Taconic High School is nearly completed.
The city will hold a topping off ceremony next Friday, a tradition in construction projects to celebrate the final beam of a structure being placed. The completion of the superstructure is pretty much on schedule, the hope was to complete it by the start of 2017. A total of 10 subcontracting companies are currently on site working on the building now.
The construction site is broken into multiple areas with the gymnasium and auditorium on the west side and the shop areas to the east. The western portion has been enclosed and heaters are warming the inside to allow walls and decking for the floors to be placed. The heating had just begun this week and takes a few days to bring the temperature up enough and thaw the ground. The roofing is expected to start soon as well.
Meanwhile, on the eastern side workers are finalizing the steel structure and the cranes lifting the pieces into place will soon be gone. That area will be for the shops, with science classrooms up top, and require less interior work. That is expected to remain uncovered with structural and concrete work continuing.
Some of the precast concrete, which will be the exterior appearance, has begun with the building of elevator shafts and some pieces on the northern end of the building, providing a glimpse of the various textures being used for exterior appearance.
Utilities are almost in place, with a permanent gas line already there to power the heaters. The electricity is being provided by a generator but electricians are expected to have a permanent line to the site in short order as well — much of that infrastructure work is also completed.
The site is coming into form. The slanted roof from the designs is clear and in place. The balcony for the auditorium is visible from the inside. The open space for the gymnasium is there and the material to build the walls are on site and workers will still be taking that on.
The precast concrete to enclose the structure is being poured this week and waiting to be delivered. The plan is to have the entire exterior complete by the end of 2017.
The $120.8 million project has been under construction for 10 months now and project leaders say overall it is on time and on budget — though typically construction projects lose some time during the winter and regain it during the spring.
The building is scheduled to be completed and open for the school year of 2018-2019. Then the current Taconic will be demolished and playing fields and parking lots will be constructed.
iBerkshires has been photographing the project since the start. Below is a slideshow of the construction progress.
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