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Signs of Construction for the New Mt. Ararat High School are “Springing” Up:

posted May 16, 2017, 6:14 AM by Ryan Palmer   [ updated Jun 13, 2017, 11:35 AM ]

Anyone driving through the Mt. Ararat High School campus will notice activities signaling the beginning stages of construction for the new facility.  Landscape architects marked a number of trees with ribbons so their surveyors can digitally locate these trees as a key piece of information as the construction plan develops.  In addition, the footprint of the new facility is being marked.  Soil testing for construction and geo-thermal planning are also underway.  Major impacts to the campus like changes to the access road, parking lots and current baseball field are planned for the spring of 2018. As construction plans develop, impacts to the current campus will be communicated to the community.

Superintendent Smith along with PDT Architects will be going to the Topsham Planning Board on May 16, 2017 for approval to begin development of the athletic practice fields and the baseball field to be located on the newly acquired land adjacent to Mt. Ararat Middle School.  Superintendent Smith continues to work with town officials and property owners regarding the sewer line that runs through the property.

The Learning Commons and Technology Sub-Committee will meet on May 9, 2017 for the purpose of meeting with a technology consultant from CDA Consulting who will assist in creating a plan for technology in the new school.  Several Committee members have been doing site visits to learning commons (formally termed as libraries) at Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT), Bowdoin College and Thornton Academy to view technology, maker spaces, and furniture design. To view an example of a newly constructed learning commons at WIT please visit https://www.facebook.com/wentworthadmissions/posts/10158549842400024.

PDT has engaged an interior design coordinator who has been meeting with the high school staff about space and furnishing requirements for different learning environments.   To date meetings have been held to discuss the administrative offices, the health clinic, art classrooms, and special education spaces. The interior design coordinator will continue to meet with staff until the end of the school year.

The Building Systems and Sustainability Sub-Committee will be seeking School Board approval to begin RFPs for screening and hiring a commissioning agent. The commissioning agent's responsibilities will primarily be to review mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems before the start-up of the new high school.

The Naming Rights and Fundraising Sub-Committee has been meeting regularly to lay out fundraising strategies and to begin donor outreach. Because of the timing of construction and the impact it will have on the baseball field in June of 2018, the Naming Rights and Fundraising Sub-Committee is initially focusing on determining fundraising costs associated with the new baseball athletic field.  Dugouts, fencing, bleachers and a scoreboard are all costs associated with the new baseball field and are outlined in the fundraising plan for the new high school.