SOUTH PORTLAND – The multi-year, $50 million addition and renovation project at South Portland High School is on track to be completed by mid-December, Superintendent of Schools Suzanne Godin said this week.

“The project is coming along nicely,” Godin added, although she also said that asbestos abatement and other “unforeseen conditions continue to be difficulties we encounter throughout the renovation, which (has an) impact on our contingency budget.”

To help save on costs, the contractor has agreed to finish a number of classrooms earlier than scheduled so the school district would not have to rent portable classrooms this fall as originally planned, Godin said.

She said assuming that construction is completed by the end of this year, a community open house would be scheduled for some time in January to give the public a chance to tour the newly renovated building.

South Portland residents approved a referendum allowing the high school project to move forward in November 2010, and ground was broken in May 2012. There have been other additions and renovations at the 62-year-old high school in prior years, but the current project has led to the construction of a new main entrance, a cafeteria, a library or learning commons, a lecture hall and classrooms.

A construction worker seals seams between insulating panels on the side of South Portland High School last week as part of a 2½-year renovation project set to be completed in mid-December. One of several large dumpsters collecting construction debris at the front of the high school is carted away for dumping. A wide shot of a classroom wing shows the scope of the renovation and construction under way at South Portland High School.South Portland residents are probably familiar with big yellow vehicles lined up beside the high school, but this summer it’s a little different. Tires are bigger, it’s a little noisier, and carrying capacity isn’t measured in number of students, but in cubic feet. The renovation of the high school continues, with all the action moving to the front and west as construction workers race to prepare for the fall opening.What’s big, heavy and hard to move, and stands around outside the South Portland High School gym? Not Red Riots football players, but “portable” cement mixers.Construction debris by the ton is collected in large dumpsters near the former front entrance to the high school. 

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