Cumberland school expansion could be complete by March

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CUMBERLAND — The expansion of Greely Middle School, to accommodate students from the soon-to-be-closed North Yarmouth Memorial School, could be completed by the end of next month.

School Administrative District 51 voters in June 2013 approved both the $2 million expansion of the middle school, and the closure of the fourth- and fifth-grade North Yarmouth school.

The approximately 6,000-square-foot Greely renovation includes extra classroom and cafeteria space, and the parking lot is being reconfigured to facilitate fourth- and fifth-grade staff and visitors.

SAD 51 Finance Director Scott Poulin the expansion is expected to be done by the end of March, three months ahead of schedule, with remaining work in July to include parking lot improvements and transfer of playground equipment from the North Yarmouth school, Poulin said.

The summer months will be used to complete the move from North Yarmouth to Cumberland.

“I’ve got a huge move, where I’ve got to move people within the middle school to different areas of the building, and then I’ve got to move North Yarmouth, fourth and fifth grade, into the building as well,” Poulin explained. “That’s teacher materials, desks; it’s a huge move.”

Interior finishes are in the process of being installed, the mechanical systems are being balanced throughout the new areas, and painting and carpeting are underway.

“The architect and the contractor have been unbelievable in this project,” Poulin said of architect Stephen Blatt and Ganneston Construction, respectively.

The impact from construction on school activities has been minimal, he added, noting that Ganneston has taken advantage of school vacations, weekends and holidays to get work done on areas that would normally be occupied.

Besides being ahead of schedule, the project is about $75,000 under budget. The savings will be used “for any miscellaneous things that are needed during the move,” Poulin said.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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The expansion of Greely Middle School in Cumberland could be done by the end of next month. The project includes classrooms, a central hallway, and an expanded cafeteria area.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.