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High school construction to require year-long closing of South Portland street

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High school construction to require year-long closing of South Portland street

SOUTH PORTLAND — The next phase of renovations and expansion at South Portland High School will close Mountain View Road for a year beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

City Councilors on Dec. 16 unanimously approved closing the road from Williston Road to Nelson Road while leaving a 12-foot lane open for construction access, emergency vehicles, and snow and trash removal.

The street is expected to be closed until Dec. 31, 2014.

The closing will allows space for contractor PC Construction to demolish "the annex," the school wing that extends from the original building to the renovated Beal Gymnasium along Mountain View Road.

Students are expected to empty the annex, which is about 45 years old, and begin using the first phase of the new high school on Jan. 6, 2014.

"The (annex) area needs to be abated and that will happen in the month of January into February," School Superintendent Suzanne Godin told councilors.

She also invited councilors and the public to an open house and ribbon cutting on Jan. 5, 2014, from 1-3 p.m., at the new school addition, which includes classrooms, a learning commons, kitchen, cafeteria, locker rooms and administrative offices.

There are no homes on Mountain View Road, which is largely used by high school staff, students, and visitors to the school and Community Center.

"Traffic is school-related, for the most part," Godin said.

She said said safety concerns require the road closure, and an October meeting with road abutters drew one neighborhood resident.

"It seems to me the other abutters must have felt confident or they would have come to the meeting as well," Godin added. She said she would notify abutters again before the road is closed.

When asked by Councilor Patti Smith if it is necessary to close the street for a year, Godin said the scope of the demolition and renovations require the lengthy shutdown.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.