Much of the material being excavated is being kept on site to be re-used.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — With school out, site work on the new Taconic High School is picking up.
The site of the new school, directly across the driveway from the current building, is under heavy construction, with equipment, material piles and dozens of workers getting the ground ready for vertical construction.
"They've started pouring the footings, which are the below-level anchors to the building," Superintendent Jason McCandless said on Tuesday.
The project is being managed by Gilbane Construction in tandem with project managers from Skanska USA. So far, site work, concrete and steel contracts have been awarded.
McCandless said summer school has been moved to Reid Middle School this year to make it easier for workers.
"They really want to have the space as people free as possible," McCandless said. "They are really hoping to make some real advances this summer."
The superintendent says by the end of the summer, when students return, most of the foundation work should be complete or mostly complete. The steel work for the outside of the building will then start to go up.
"We think by the end of the summer it will be looking like something with form," McCandless said.
So far everything remains on track both timewise and budgetwise, McCandless said. The only hiccup so far, according to the superintendent, is construction debris from the 1969 construction was found between the soccer field and the parking lot. That debris was "asphalt-like roofing material" which will need to be shipped out to a specific landfill for petroleum soils. That was unexpected, but McCandless said the budget included funds for any similar finds.
"We're hitting much much what they expected to hit. ... Everything we've do so far is absolutely under budget," McCandless said.
An access road and bridge has already been constructed and a fence separates the site from the current school. On Tuesday, residents were stopping by the school to watch the construction. Gilbane has set up a time-elapse camera to document the construction, which can been seen here.
The work is picking up now that the students are out.
J.H. Maxymillian Inc has the contract to prepare the land and Tierney Construction was awarded the foundation concrete contract.
The pre-cast concrete for the building's structure was awarded to Connecticut-based Coreslab Structures in tandem with Pittsfield's own Unistress. McCandless said the steel is coming from Norgate out of Quebec and Stellar Steel from Connecticut received the contract to put the steel up.
But right now, the focus is on getting the groundwork ready for the foundation and piles of excavated material remain on site.
"This site is providing a lot of material that will be reused," McCandless said.
Meanwhile, the city's director of maintenance, Denis Guyer, has been going through the current Taconic building and identifying pieces such as doors and windows that are in good enough condition to use in other school buildings.
The $120.8 million school project is replacing the 1969 Taconic High School. Once completed, in time for the 2018-19 school year, the old school will be razed. The new building will be 246,520 square feet, large enough to accommodate 920 students.
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This would be a good opportunity to have an introduction to construction management course.
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