Photo: The first heavy equipment on site at Belmont High School.
A friend of Belmont Middle and High School Building Committee member Pat Brusch called shortly after 7 a.m. on Tuesday, June 18 to tell her that she could hear from her home the cacophony of beeping warning sounds from trailers bringing bulldozers and other equipment to the field adjacent Belmont High School.
For Building Committee Chair Bill Lovallo, who relayed the story to the committee on Wednesday, June 19, it was nice to hear that the $295 million school building project was getting underway “right on time.”
The first day of the summer recess for Belmont Schools on Tuesday morning coincides with the start of four-plus years of construction to build the new Belmont Middle and High School.
While the demolition of the brick gateway and sidewalk leading to the now decommissioned Brendan Grant Field along Concord Avenue is the most visible demonstration of work being done on the site, the most significant workout is occurring inside the Wenner Field House where the second floor – the location of the small gym – is being ripped out and reconfigured to include temporary locker rooms. Major work related to the Higginbottom Pool has also started.
Lovallo thanked Belmont Superintendent John Phelan along with interim High School Principal John Brow, Steve Dorrance, director of facilities, Athletic Director Jim Davis and the town’s Department of Public Works for “prepping” the field house and the former playing fields so construction could take place on day one, “all while students were still in the building.”
In other news
The committee approved W. L. French Excavating Corp. of North Billerica to perform all the pile foundation work with the first piles driven in the ground outside the field house in August with an ending date in late October.
The building committee also approved hiring a contractor to record precondition of the exterior of approximately 70 homes within 500 feet of the construction site. Those residents will begin receiving notifications in the next few weeks.
“We just want to make sure we have it documented, not that we are expecting any issues,” said Lovallo.