SANFORD — Sanford High School and Regional Technical Center is on track to open Aug. 15, setting in motion the next steps in a series of events that will lead to three other  projects — two retrofits and an renovation and addition. When all are complete in 2020, Sanford will have the new high school and technical center, the old high school will be transformed into a middle school, the current junior high school will become a elementary school and Margaret Chase Smith School will be able to accommodate many more students.

Earlier this week, Superintendent David Theoharides said about all but about 15 percent of the new high school space will be ready for the fall semester. That is caused, he said, because labor shortages for steelworkers and masons early on in the construction period that while eventually was solved, put other aspects of the construction project behind.

The scheduling effects three technical school programs and the new performing arts center.

The performing arts center is now scheduled to open mid-November.

The school’s culinary arts program will remain at Noble High School for the fall semester, where it has been located for a number of years due to lack of space in Sanford.

The cosmetology program and the landscape/horticulture programs will locate in available space in the new high school and technical school building, but won’t be in their specific labs until the semester that begins in January.

The delay for the performing arts center and the three technical programs means Hutter Construction, the general contractor, will have to pick up the tab for added costs to the school under the terms of the contract. Theoharides said the contractor will pay to bus students to Noble High School for the culinary arts program and pick up 15 percent of the cost of insurance and utilities at the new school building. The biggest expense to the contractor would be if it requires the services of the project architect or clerk of the works while construction continues, he said.

School officials and the construction company have met with the fire marshal and codes office, Theoharides said. They have also worked out a program whereby construction workers will be issued identification badges and will use a separate entrance through the performing arts center once the school is open for students starting Sept. 4.

Renovations to the current Sanford High School are scheduled to begin Sept. 15.

A larger series of moves begins in 2019 to accommodate changes to the current junior high school and Margaret Chase Smith School.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]

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