The new Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham. Alex Lear / The Forecaster

Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new building Friday.

Though the new school building opened in the fall of 2020, the school officials could not host a ceremony because of the COVID-19 restrictions that were in place.

“COVID-19 restrictions played a big part in the delay of the ribbon-cutting ceremony. We were not allowing visitors in the building last school year, so we decided to do it now,” said Logan Arrowood, the administrative assistant at Mt. Ararat High School.

The 153,000-square-foot structure, located at 68 Eagles Way in Topsham, replaced the old Mt. Ararat High School, which opened in 1973. The school serves students from Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell and Topsham.

The Maine School Administrative District 75 was approved for the new high school construction during the 2014-15 school year by the Maine Department of Education. The construction of the new building started in 2018.

CHA Architecture, formerly PDT architecture, a Portland-based design team, was selected as the architect for the project. They conducted a study to determine whether to remodel or build a new school.

Slightly smaller than the old structure, the new building can accommodate 750 students in grades 9-12. It has approximately 50 classrooms and two gymnasiums – the main gym has a wood floor, and an auxiliary gym has a synthetic floor. The new building has the capacity for solar power that can augment its geothermal system.

“The new school has been well received by everyone, including students and staff,” said Arrowood.

“I have seen the building only from outside,” said Tiffanie Taylor Connors, whose child is a sophomore at Mt. Ararat High School. “It looks good. From what I have heard from my child, the lunchroom could be much bigger as the kids are squeezing in to eat. I am hoping to be able to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony, but I am not sure as I have a very demanding job.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 4:30 p.m., followed by information sessions Friday. Campus tours will depart every five minutes from the Dining Commons Courtyard starting at 5 p.m., and all tours will be limited to 20 participants in each group. Masks are required inside the school building.

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