High School Construction Project Proceeding On Budget

posted Dec 4, 2018, 9:40 AM by Ryan Palmer   [ updated Dec 4, 2018, 9:44 AM ]

Construction of the new High School is well under way, and the project remains on budget.  The robust pace of construction is evident in invoicing of over $1 million each month for work completed by the contractor.

The project budget of $58.6 million includes a contingency fund of approximately $2.3 million to address construction change orders as a result of unanticipated conditions – such as the need to remove unsuitable soils under the new access road – or additional costs occurring from design oversights which can be anticipated in any construction project of this size.

Fortunately there have been few surprises, unanticipated conditions or oversights as the project has come out of the ground and the contractor continues his review of construction details.  For example, at the end of September construction was 8.4% complete, yet less than 1% of the contingency budget had been expended.  This is indeed good news. Below is the current Project Tracking Budget as of November 30, 2018.


Landscaping Committee Formed by Volunteers

posted Nov 26, 2018, 4:53 AM by Ryan Palmer

Many community members have been actively engaged in lending their interest, time and expertise to the planning and design of the new Mt. Ararat High School. The Board of Directors continues to support this approach with the recent appointment of a Landscaping Subcommittee following a call for community volunteers. The five members of the Subcommittee include Jane Scease, David Johnson, Jr., Becca Norklun, Martha Simpson, and Joyce Thomas.

The charge for this Subcommittee is to work with the Architect to develop landscaping plans within the Project’s budget allowance for high-visibility areas of the new site, such as the main entrance and gymnasium entrance. These plans will then be brought forward for approval to the Building Committee.

The involvement of our community in building the new High School will strengthen the success of the building project, and the Board of Directors appreciates the support of our many volunteers. 

New Baseball Field Update

posted Nov 1, 2018, 6:28 AM by Ryan Palmer

The creation of a new baseball and multi-purpose field was one of the first visible signs that our Mt. Ararat High School project was underway.  Though we had originally hoped to be playing on them next spring, a lengthy process to reconstruct utility lines as well as a very poor growing season this summer have caused us to delay that for a year.  In the end, the grass did not grow to our satisfaction in time for play in the spring of 2019. Our intention has always been to have a field that is fantastic for our athletes, enjoyable for spectators, and an all around proud accomplishment of the district.  We’ll need a bit more time for all of this to still come true.

In the meantime, let’s remind everyone what we’re planning for in the development of the new baseball field:
  • Concrete block dugouts
  • A home run fence with possible “high wall” features for key advertising signs
  • A new baseball scoreboard
  • A beautiful student-designed and built flagpole incorporated into the outfield landscape
  • A variety of seating areas to enable spectators to enjoy games
  • Warm-up mounds for both home and visiting teams

Similar to other sports, our Athletics Department will make arrangements for baseball practice and games at other area facilities for the 2019 season.  We have wonderful neighbors who are willing to partner with us and enable our athletes to have great experiences in the interim.

We have a number of dedicated parents, staff and community members committed to having an excellent athletic field when it’s done.  We thank them for their ideas, hours, and contributions.  As a result, our students will soon have a wonderful set of new fields to play on. 

Construction Oversight at MTAHS

posted Sep 13, 2018, 7:08 AM by Ryan Palmer

Mt. Ararat High School Construction

Project Oversight

By Daniel Chuhta, Interim Superintendent


A construction project this large requires the involvement of many individuals.  In regard to oversight, representation from the District (Interim Superintendent, Business Manager, Facilities Director, and the Building Committee Chairperson), PDT (the architectural firm), Arthur C. Dudley (the General Contractor), the Maine Department of Education, and the Clerk of the Works (hired by the Architect to be onsite daily) meets twice each month to review progress, discuss next steps, and address questions and/or concerns.  In addition, the District’s team meets every other week with representatives from PDT as well as the Clerk of the Works.

Beyond the daily duties of the Clerk of the Works, regular visits from the Maine Department of Education, and daily visits of the Facilities Director, multiple engineering firms are also responsible for ongoing field testing.  Recently, S.W. Cole Engineering has been providing on-site testing of soil and ground materials, and R.W. Gillespie has been providing testing of the concrete. In the future, mechanical and structural testing will occur as the building begins to rise up from the ground.  All together, each step in the project is monitored for quality assurance and adherence to the specifications.


MTA HS Construction Campus Updates

posted Sep 7, 2018, 9:32 AM by Ryan Palmer   [ updated Sep 13, 2018, 7:02 AM ]


Mt. Ararat High School Construction

Campus Updates

By Donna Brunette, MTA Principal


As many of you are aware, the high school construction project is underway.  Exciting! A great deal of work has been done since school ended in June. The contractors have been focused on site development throughout the summer with the roadway a priority, preparing all the ground systems such as water and power, drilling geothermal wells, and pouring the foundation for the new school.  The progress made has been amazing! If you haven’t been on campus, you will be stunned.

Our main entry road, Eagle’s Way, has been closed for the summer, but has reopened.  Roadways, parking, and walking paths are all impacted by construction and construction equipment is very much a presence on our campus.  For the next few years, anyone visiting our campus should plan additional time for travel, be very cautious around construction vehicles, and avoid parking on the roadways during work hours.   

Many people are asking about the student parking lot, student access to parking on campus this year, and the parent drop off plan.  The following statements outline plans during construction:

Student Parking: The student parking lot at the front of the high school has re-opened, but there are fewer spaces.  Other parking spaces around the building and on campus have been designated for student parking. When students complete the application process for parking they will be assigned to park in a specific area.  For students who are assigned spaces around the building, student parking is designated with painted orange lines. Staff parking spaces are lined with white paint. Please contact the Student Affairs Office if you have questions.

Drop-Off Area: The drop-off area for parents or whoever may be dropping off a student for school will continue to be in the student parking lot near the crosswalk.  The entry to the student parking area will be near the crosswalk, and people will be able to pull into the student parking area, drop off students, and loop through the parking lot to exit right by way of a temporary gravel access drive onto Eagles Way when leaving the parking lot.  

The fall athletic programs have started and many are playing at sites in our community while construction is underway.  Boys and girls soccer teams will play home contests at the Riverside Field in Topsham. Football home games will be played at the Fairgrounds field in Topsham and field hockey teams will be sharing the middle level field.  Please contact Athletic Director Geoff Godo for more information.

And finally, if you want to follow the MTA Construction project online, there is a link on district and school websites with additional information which includes some drone footage.  Monthly updates are posted by the Communications Committee based on the work of the Building Committee. Fundraising has also been a focus for the project; and if you are interested in contributing funds to support the project, information about various fundraising initiatives will be posted on this site as well.


Student Parking Image



Construction Under Way

posted Jun 26, 2018, 5:18 AM by Ryan Palmer

Construction of the new Mt. Ararat High School is now under way.  On May 31, 2018 the MSAD No. 75 Board of Directors approved entering into a construction contract with Arthur C. Dudley, Contractor/Builder, at a cost of $46,258,682.  This action followed a public bid opening for the project held on May 23, 2018, and a recommendation to approve the contract with Arthur Dudley from the Building Committee.

With the current building boom some school districts are seeing the low bids for their construction projects come in significantly over budget.  While Arthur Dudley submitted the only bid for the Mt. Ararat Project, the bid came in on budget and the District will be able to move forward in constructing a school with those features which were viewed as important to the school community, such as placing additional security cameras around the site, upgrading athletic facilities, creating additional classroom space and integrating energy-efficient features throughout the school.  The project will also have a positive impact on the local economy, since Crooker Construction of Topsham will be providing the site work and constructing the rectangular turf field.

Construction began prior to the end of the school year with work taking place on new portions of the access road.  The current access road will be closed for construction this summer beginning June 25th, with vehicles only able to access the High School via Can-Am/Republic Avenue.  By mid-summer foundations will be poured, beginning with the gymnasium end of the building on the current baseball field next to the Transportation Garage. 

On June 7th 100 community members attended a joyful ground-breaking ceremony, with speakers noting the long road for state approval of the Project over many years, and the dedication of so many individuals across the community, including PDT Architects, in reaching this point in the Project.  All of this is only possible because of the incredible support from the four communities of MSAD No. 75.

Stay tuned for regular updates on the progress of construction on this website.

(As an interesting note, Arthur Dudley also constructed the last addition to Bowdoinham Community School, a project which was viewed as very successful.)

The Best Seat In the House Could Be Yours

posted Jun 21, 2018, 5:25 AM by Ryan Palmer

header

This is The Forum for cultivating student thought and learning, full of discussion and debate. This is the The Forum brimming with creative activities and shows all year. An appreciation and understanding of, and participation in both learning and in performing arts ... drama, music, and dance....in our schools and communities.

plaque

For students of all ages, the forum provides a diverse, meaningful opportunity for student growth and success and promotes a community of fluent learners, critical thinkers and creative contributors to our society. The Forum provides a cultural beacon in the region, inviting the community at large to experience fine live performances, both amateur and professional. When you‘TAKE the BEST SEAT in the HOUSE, you support our mission and are a part of the action.

Your name on a permanent commemorative brass plaque (or two!), attached to a seat in the theater shows your enduring commitment to the arts and to arts education. (It does not, however, guarantee your seating there for performances!)

Or, buy a plaque as a gift for someone else- your parents or child, a favorite teacher, a friend, or someone you admire in the community. An engraved brass plaque could be the perfect gift for a birthday or anniversary, or some cherished event. The Forum has 250 seats so there are plenty of opportunities to take the best seat in the house. 

seats image
Click HERE to download and print an order form.

EAGLES WAY CLOSING

posted Jun 14, 2018, 10:42 AM by Ryan Palmer

Construction on the new high school has begun!  The first area of work is extending the current Eagle's Way further into the site.  On Monday, June 25th, Eagle's Way will be closed.  Access to Mt. Ararat High School will be limited to Canam Drive and then Republic Avenue.  It is expected that the construction of the new road will be completed around mid-to-late August. At that time, the new Eagle's Way will be opened in time for the next school year.

The construction fence will also go up around the project on Monday, June 25th.  There will be very limited parking left available in the current student parking lot.

We apologize for any inconvenience this causes, and encourage you to plan accordingly.

Call for Volunteers: New High School Landscaping Committee

posted Jun 13, 2018, 7:10 AM by Ryan Palmer

The MSAD No. 75 Board of Directors is inviting volunteers to join a Landscaping Committee for the new Mt. Ararat High School.  The Committee will begin its work in the fall of 2018, with a limited number of meetings required.
Interested parties should provide a letter of interest discussing their skills, experience and interest, and contact information.  Letters can be emailed to brillantb@link75.org or mailed to:  Superintendent’s Office, Attn: HS Building Project, 50 Republic Avenue, Topsham, ME  04086.  For further information contact Mark Conrad at 729-9961 ext. 230.

MTA Track Closed June 18th

posted Jun 12, 2018, 1:09 PM by Ryan Palmer

On June 18, 2018, the construction fence will be erected in the areas around the Mt. Ararat High School track and student parking lot.  Therefore, the track will no longer be accessible to the public.  

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