On the other side of the construction fence the Winchester High School Project is in full swing with lots of exciting progress. Nearly 100 men and women are hard at work every day constructing Phase 1 of the project. Here are just a few highlights of the progress.
It is hard to believe but at the end of last school year this area was the old courtyard between the Auditorium and the old Main Entrance. Now all structural steel is in place and concrete slabs on grade have been poured. Temporary enclosures are in place and the permanent exterior framing is underway. Ceiling framing is well underway and drywall enclosures are in place at the structural beams above. The grand stair that will lead up to the E building connector and Media Center/Library has been installed.
The new kitchen and servery is progressing quickly with framing being installed and some drywall. The large task of installing all the mechanical, electrical and plumbing for the future kitchen equipment is moving at a furious pace. The large walk-in coolers have been installed as is other kitchen equipment.
Framing and drywall in this area is nearly complete as they follow with taping and plastering. Above ceiling mechanical, electrical and plumbing is also nearly complete, which will mean that ceilings will soon be installed in this area. The most prominent feature of the area the “saw tooth” wall that can be seen from the dining commons is framed and you can now get a sense of what the space will look like at completion. This “saw tooth” area will offer students nooks to meet with other students and study.
New Music Suite
The structural steel for the new Music Suite is in place and the slab on grade has been poured. Exterior framing has been installed and the first layer of the exterior skin is being put in place. On the interior all the walls are currently framed. You can now get a good sense of the large band and chorus practice areas. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing is being installed so that walls can begin to be closed up with drywall.
It would be hard to recognize the auditorium at this point as all the seats and masonry walls have been removed. Structural steel bracing has been installed in all of the existing column bays. Additional roof trusses have been installed along with the new catwalk. The fly loft steel is complete and they are working on closing this area up. This was one of the most difficult areas in Phase 1 to construct and with the unprecedented amount of snow over the winter and some unforeseen conditions, the turn-over of this are will not be until sometime in the fall of next year. However, all other areas within Phase 1 are right on track to be ready for the start of school in September. This has been worked through with the School Department and there are no classes or performances scheduled during this time and will not affect the school operations.
New Administrative Wing
The structural steel for the new Administrative wing has been installed and the exterior framing is complete. Walls are beginning to be framed in this area as well as mechanical, electrical and plumbing installation. The area adjacent to the admin area that will soon be the new entrance to the high school is also taking shape.
Skilling Temporary Parking Lot
After numerous comments from residents and students regarding the condition of the temporary parking lot the project team successfully got permission to pave a portion of the lot from Conservation Commission. This will should improve the condition of the lot and make it much easier for next year’s winter.
This is a very exciting time for the project as progress can be seen on a daily basis. The pace will only quicken as we approach the end of the school year.