Construction on a $4.3 million addition to Oceanside High School is expected to start soon following unanimous approval of the project Tuesday night, Feb. 6, by the Rockland Planning Board.

The project calls for a 7,600-square-foot addition for a new cafeteria and kitchen. The new cafeteria will be double the size of the current one, and the kitchen will be larger and modern.

The current kitchen will be converted into administrative offices. The cafeteria will be converted into a multi-purpose room and more space behind the auditorium.

A new entrance and vestibule will also be constructed approximately where the current exterior entrance for the cafeteria is.

Additional bathrooms will be built that will be adequate for public functions at the school, such as concerts, plays and ballgames.

An elevator will be installed to reach the lower level of the school, largely under the gymnasium. The elevator will be accessed from the main corridor near a custodian closet.

The lower level of the school will be completely gutted once the basketball season is over. New locker rooms will be built, as well as new bathrooms and a new training room, and the fitness center will be relocated to the lower level.

The lower level will have improved ventilation. That work should be done by fall.

The parking lot will be redesigned, with a bus loop and a separate lane for motorists.

In addition to creating a bus loop, there will be more parking spaces as a result of the redesign. There are currently 147 spaces.

The current administrative offices will be converted to classrooms.

The overall project is expected to take 15 months to complete.

Voters in RSU 13 (Rockland, Thomaston, Owls Head, South Thomaston and Cushing) approved last February borrowing up to $23.2 million for a series of building projects in the district. That included two classroom additions at the middle school,  the new Owls Head school, and the high school project.

The school district is also turning over the McLain School to the city of Rockland. RSU 13 will move its administrative offices, alternative education program and computer systems to South School this summer. Room was freed up at South School when the sixth-graders moved to the middle school in Thomaston.