I am pleased to inform you that the expansion and renovation of Yarmouth High School is about to begin. As you are aware, the citizens of Yarmouth voted in November 2018 to approve a construction project that will add classrooms for nearly all subject areas, with additional spaces for music, drama, and robotics. We will also expand the cafeteria, relocate the fitness room, and create a new main entrance at a total project cost of approximately $12.8 million. Earlier this month we received bids from seven qualified contractors and today we entered into contract with Ledgewood Construction for completion of the Yarmouth High School addition and renovation for approximately $250,000 less than the budgeted amount.
It is possible that you will begin to see construction vehicles and workers on site at the High School the week of November 25, with construction targeted to begin the first week in December. As the construction work begins, I want you to be aware of changes to traffic patterns through the High School campus, things we are doing to ensure the safety of each student, staff member, and visitor to our school and inform you of other inconveniences you may face throughout the duration of this work.
No through access from West Elm to Portland Street.
The closing of the access road leading from West Elm Street to the main parking lot will be a significant inconvenience for many drivers. That driveway, and the parking lot immediately adjacent to it, will be fenced off and accessible only to construction and maintenance vehicles. Drivers who typically use the High School driveway as a cut-through from West Elm to Portland Street will need to use an alternate route.
There will be a reduction in the number of parking spaces available at the school. The High School administration will be communicating with students and staff the parking parameters that will be in place for the remainder of this year and throughout the fall of 2020.
Pick-up and drop-off traffic
Parents will still be able to drop-off and pick-up students at the usual times, though the parking lot is likely to become more congested during construction. The contractor has agreed to avoid congesting our driveways and parking lots with construction vehicles from 7:45 – 8:05 a.m. and from 2:30 – 3:00 p.m. Typically, the workers will be on-site before 8:00 a.m. and will remain at work until after 4:00 p.m., but we have also set forth the expectation that construction deliveries will not take place during the hours designated above.
Egress from the building
The contractor is required to maintain a safe egress for students and staff through all doors of the school. There may be times when an egress will be closed during the hanging of steel, but for the most part the contractor will work with the High School administration to ensure safe access through all exterior doors at all times.
Construction workers/visitors safety check
All workers and visitors to the construction site will be required to submit to a mandatory Ident-a-kid screening. Visitors to the school will check in with main office, and visitors to construction site will check in with the general contractor – and will not enter the building without also checking in with the main office.
Fencing around construction site
The entire construction site will be fenced off from students throughout the project. Unless there is an approved, chaperoned educational opportunity, students will not be inside the construction zone at any time.
There will be some distractions during this work, but the long-term benefit outweighs the inconveniences we will face for the next 12 months. Site work and large deliveries tend to be accompanied by loud machinery and noisy vehicles, but teachers will do their best to help students adapt to the increased noise outside their classrooms.
This is an exciting project that will result in a greater ability for the Yarmouth School Department to meet the needs of our growing district, and we are committed to ensuring the safety of our students, staff, and visitors throughout this work.
Andrew Dolloff, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools