New middle school taking shape

By Gabriel Blodgett | Nov 05, 2019
Photo by: Gabriel Blodgett Construction continues on the new Camden Rockport Middle School

Camden — At the Nov. 4 Building Committee meeting, architect Tyler Barker of Oak Point Associates said that construction of the new Camden-Rockport Middle School is progressing according to plan.

The meeting was preceded by a tour of the construction site, which, although dimly lit due to the recent time change, showcased the $31.3 million school that has steadily been taking shape behind the current school on Knowlton Street.

Barker said the current focus is getting the building fully weathertight, which includes siding the cafe. The roof is already completed and storm water drains are in place.

Inside the school, the rear wing, which will house all of the classrooms, is fully framed, with the lower level sheet-rocked and partially painted. Barker said they are about two to three weeks away from starting to lay down flooring. Each of the two floors above is progressively about two weeks behind.

Another area of focus is getting the gym fully fireproofed and the locker rooms framed so they are ready for the gym floor when it is delivered in early 2020. The floor will take about five weeks to acclimate before it can be installed.

The progress in the gym and classroom wing of the building has come at the expense of the front section, which will house the administrative offices and cafe, but Barter said the overall project is on schedule and there are no threats to the critical path.

In a budget update, Owner’s Representative Mary Beth van Keuren said that 61 percent of the school’s $31,300,296 million budget had been spent as of Sept. 30, totaling $19,156,545. She said the school was on track to meet the benchmarks required for the bond payment.

Additionally, 96 percent of the budget has been committed with approximately $1.4 million remaining.

In the contingency fund, $443,362 remains of an initial $1,392,161.

Van Keuren said they were “finally starting to see a slowdown in change proposals.”

Barter said there is approximately $500,000 budgeted for technology and furnishings, which includes moveable equipment like desks, tables, televisions and computers. He said for a project of this size that budget is usually closer to $1.2 million but a number of these items will be transferred from the current school.

With regard to fundraising, Superintendent Maria Libby said the district has raised approximately $232,000 to date, which will go toward the playground, a climbing wall, and an art installation. She said the goal is to raise $500,000, which would allow the district to redo the athletic fields to help with drainage issues, but that appears unlikely at the moment.

There are several fundraising efforts underway including selling seats in the Bisbee Theater. There will also be a fundraising event held at the Snow Bowl Nov. 16 titled “If I Built a Middle School” with local children’s author Chris van Dusen.

Libby said there was no specific date for a grand opening but that the front of the building and the landscaping will not be completed by the time students return to school in the fall.

She said Nov. 2, 2020 is the date when Ledgewood Construction will turn the whole project over to the school.


Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Nov 05, 2019 15:22

Congratulations to Camden giving this wonderful school to the children. Camden has come a long way and I am so proud that most all of my children got to graduate from this wonderful School. Although we lived in Hope, we were connected via the school systems.

Mary "Mickey" (Brown) McKeever ...+:0)....

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