LEXINGTON/LINCOLN – The Minuteman High School building project has reached another major milestone.
In ceremonies attended by hundreds of students, dignitaries and Minuteman supporters, Gilbane Building Co. used a 185-foot crane to lift the final steel beam into place over what will become the new high school’s main entrance. Erection of the 24-foot beam – painted white and signed by students, teachers, elected officials, and well-wishers – marks completion of the steel structure of the building.
“What a beautiful sight,” said Dr. Edward Bouquillon, the school’s superintendent, as the final steel beam was lifted into place in what builders traditionally call a topping off ceremony. An American flag and small tree were also attached to the beam.
Jack McCarthy, executive director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), told the gathering that the ceremony “is meant as a celebration of the workers.” He singled out workers from Ironworkers Local 7 for special recognition.
Despite some challenging weather over the fall and winter, the Minuteman project remains on schedule and on budget, school officials said. Students are scheduled to start classes in the new building in the fall of 2019.
“Look what a skilled workforce can do in less than 10 months,” said Bouquillon as he surveyed the concrete and steel building skeleton that will become the new Minuteman High School. He described the new Minuteman as “the school of the future.”
The new school, with a design capacity of 628 students, is being built on the Lincoln side of Minuteman’s property. The new school will combine 16 career and technical education programs -- and academic programs – under two Career Academies and five Pathways.
Initial clearing and grading of the site got under way in June 2017. In late February 2018, Lincoln issued a building permit covering completion of the entire project. Gilbane Building Company is scheduled to turn over the new school to Minuteman next spring – more than one year ahead of estimates initially given to the member towns.
The project budget is $144.9 million, with roughly $44 million of that expected from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).
Written progress reports and videos of the project are available on the Minuteman website.
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