Demolition of Old WHS Began Yesterday; Building Will Be Gone By Memorial Day

WILMINGTON, MA – In seven short weeks, the old Wilmington High School building will be no more.

According to Project Manager Mike Marcella of the Gilbane Building Company, the demolition of the old WHS will be completed by Memorial Day.

Yesterday, the high school’s cafeteria was the first portion of the building to be torn down since the gym was demolished back in February 2013.  See some video of Wednesday’s demolition HERE.  Demolition photos tweeted yesterday by Assistant Principal Dennis Mahoney and teacher Amanda Donahue can be found at the bottom of this article.

The portion of the building closest to the Roman House driveway will be removed during April vacation.  (Interestingly, the demolition team expects to come across a time capsule buried in that area within the next two weeks.  The team will turn over the unopened capsule to the town. ) The Church Street side of the building will fall next, followed by the Adams Street side of the building.

Once the demolition is complete in late May, however, the project is far from over.  The entire effort won’t be completed until October.  (Gilbane’s contract with the town expires on Friday, October 23.)

Over the next 7 months, Gilbane will clear and clean the former high school site, put additional utility structures in place, and create new parking lots and sidewalks.  A new bus loop will be constructed after students are out in June.  Basketball and tennis courts will be created this summer.  Renovations will also be made to the baseball field, with a focus on the right field wall.  A “forest” of 30-40 new trees will be planted between Church St. side and Adam St. side of the site.  As a nice touch, the former high school’s sign with the Wildcat on it will be relocated to the eventual Adam Street entrance, where the parent drop-off will be situated.

“Everyone from the town we’ve worked with and met have been so complimentary,” Mike Marcella told Assistant Superintendent Kate Burnham on the most recent episode of her WCTV show, ‘In The Loop.’ “So if everyone can just bear with us for another seven months, we’ll work on the second half of the project to turn it into as nice a space as the new school.”

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