Photo: The new look at the Chenery: modular units on the tennis court.
When Branchaud Road’s Milo Pikcilingis heard the trucks in the Chenery Middle School parking lot around 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, he had to see what was happening.
As he peered outside, he saw big flatbeds carrying what looked like buildings coming towards his house. Milo’s day was set!
In fact, what Milo saw were modular classrooms – bathrooms included – ready to be placed on what was once the school’s tennis courts.
“So far so good,” said site manager Rich Russo from Littleton-based Triumph Modular overseeing the construction.
The six classrooms – equipt with their own bathrooms and powered with underground electrical wiring – will hold up to 25 students, making a dent in the rapid increase in student enrollment in Belmont schools. The district bought the units for $1.4 million, funded from the town’s “free” cash account.
“A new modular has a lifespan of between 10 to 15 years, and even longer if maintained,” said Russo.
For the rest of the day, Russo’s crew would gently back the large units so they would slide in-between units and then moved sideways into place.
Constructed in the mid-west, the units were shipped to Triumph’s Littleton office before making its final journey to Belmont. On the way here, the crew lost nearly 400 tires due to the pressure of transporting the heavy structure.
Russo said it will take five weeks to make the units ready for students.
As for Milo, his attention to everything going on caught the attention of the workers who made him a “manager,” providing him a hard hat and neon yellow safety vest.
“I’m amazed how fast they built it,” said Milo’s dad, Aaron Pikcilingis as his mom, Laura Burnes, and older sister, Eloise, came by to also watch the excitement.
“Yesterday it was a tennis court and today, classrooms. Amazing.”