South Portland High School renovation could begin in April

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SOUTH PORTLAND – With final design and project plans in hand, the city on Wednesday invited bids for the high school renovation project.

Four pre-qualified general contractors – JCN Construction of Biddeford, Eckman Construction of Bedford, N.H., PC Construction of South Burlington, Vt., and Harvey Construction of Bedford, N.H. – have until Feb. 23 to submit bids. A winner will be selected by March 5.

Voters approved up to $41.5 million for the renovation and expansion in 2010. Design, construction materials and floor plans were finalized before the bids were solicited, Justine Carlisle, a member of the SPHS Building Committee, said Wednesday.

“Changes and updates were made to the plan on an on-going basis as the architects made adjustments, subcommittees made recommendations and the Building Committee reviewed the budget,” she said in an email.

Portland-based Harriman Associates headed up the design.The plan calls for demolition of the school annex, which will be rebuilt so that it connects the school in a circular pattern that will create a courtyard and natural light well.

The original school building, at the main entrance near the administrative offices, will be kept and renovated, as will Beal Gym, the South Portland Auditorium and many classrooms. The school is expected to grow by 50 percent, from about 200,000 square feet to 300,000 square feet. The school will also be energy efficient and feature a natural gas heating and cooling system.

The building committee said construction should begin as early as April 3. The project is expected to be complete by December 2014.

“We have worked diligently to devise a phasing plan to minimize the impact on students, teachers and the community,” Superintendent of Schools Suzanne Godin said. “However, the scope of this construction project is significant. … Everyone in our city will be affected. It is a reality facing us as we tackle a major renovation project of a public building.”

Mario Moretto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or mmoretto@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @riocarmine.

Sidebar Elements


An aerial rendering of South Portland High School after a $41.5 million renovation project. The building committee hopes work will begin April 3 and be complete by December 2014.

This rendering shows the design plan for renovated lecture halls at South Portland High School. The project was approved by voters in November 2011 and went out to bid to four pre-approved general contractors on Wednesday, Jan. 4.

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