Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


January 22, 2014

Bancroft settles on fall opening

Students will start academic year in new school

Bancroft Elementary School students, don’t pack up your desks quite yet.

School officials are keeping with their original plan of opening the new, 680-student Bancroft Elementary School in the fall.

While a long shot, a potential move from the old to the new school during April vacation had been discussed in recent weeks.

But School Building Committee Chairman Tom Deso said on Tuesday that while construction on the new school is moving along smoothly, “we decided in the interest of getting everybody on the same page, we’d stick to the original schedule.”

A number of factors played into the committee’s decision, which was made at a meeting last Friday, according to Deso.

While weather hasn’t been a major issue, the cost of gaining ground on slight delays due to the recent frigid temperatures has become a factor, he said.

“To do the early opening, we’d have to accelerate some schedules, authorizing extra premium time work, overtime work,” Deso said. “We decided it doesn’t make sense at this point spending the extra money to have the early opening when we couldn’t even guarantee it wouldn’t be happening.”

With a fall opening solidified, officials now have a more concrete schedule on how work will progress at the site.

The project is divided into three phases, with construction of the new school making up phase two and demolition of the existing school falling into phase three.

With a May 22 targeted completion date for the new school, site work around it will move forward before the district breaks for summer vacation, according to Deso.

“We’ll be staying on the side of the fence we’re on now, doing site work and landscaping work on that side of the fence,” he said. “Then when the students get out of school in June, we’ll begin phase three.”

That work is expected to continue into October, as has been the plan from the beginning, Deso said.

Meanwhile, school officials have not yet discussed any opportunities for the public to tour the new school, he said.

“One of the things that has been going through my mind is the building will be finished several months before the students move in,” he said. “We haven’t talked about that.”




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