Prep work begins for new Minuteman High School
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Site preparation work for construction of a new Minuteman High School is moving ahead on schedule, without surprises, according to the construction manager.
Walter Kincaid, project executive for Gilbane Building Company, updated neighbors during a meeting held at Minuteman High School on Aug. 22. It was the second of at least three meetings scheduled by the school administration to keep nearby residents apprised of progress on the $144.9 million construction project.
“Things are progressing well,” Kincaid said, adding that construction crews haven’t run into anything unexpected or unusual while clearing and excavating the site.
He expressed confidence that the project will be completed within two years. “We’re going to put kids in the new school in the fall of 2019,” he said.
Kincaid and a representative from Skanska Building USA, Minuteman’s project manager, gave a brief PowerPoint presentation and answered questions from a handful of residential homeowners and the head of the Minute Man National Historical Park.
They updated neighbors on clearing of the site, blasting of ledge, crushing of rock, excavation of dirt, efforts to minimize dust, and the relocation of a massive 130-ton boulder to the west end of the property.
They answered questions on a wide range of topics, including how noise levels are being monitored, construction of an emergency access driveway, and the fate of wildlife such as deer and turkeys.
Kincaid said blasting of ledge would continue up to three times a week for four more weeks.
He said crews are scheduled to start putting in the building’s foundation around Sept. 18.
While the neighbors weren’t particularly pleased with the blasting — including an especially large blast that occurred that very morning — they complimented the Minuteman school administration for communicating with them about the blasting schedule. They also complimented construction crews for not starting work before 7 o’clock in the morning.
Superintendent Edward Bouquillon said the next meeting would be scheduled for late September. At that time, he hoped neighbors would be able to take a walk around the site.
The new school is being built on district-owned property in Lincoln, just a few hundred yards away from the existing school in Lexington.
The new Minuteman High School is designed for 628 students who will spend their Minuteman “careers” in one of two Career Academies: a Life Sciences and Services Academy and an Engineering, Construction & Trades Academy. The new school will include 16 career and technical education programs, including two new ones: Advanced Manufacturing and Multi-Media Engineering (Technical Theatre).
The Massachusetts School Building Authority is investing more than $44 million in the project.
Gilbane Building Company is the construction manager for the project and Kaestle Boos Associates is the architect. Skanska USA Building serves as Minuteman’s project manager.