SHILOH — The new North Dorchester High School remains on schedule to open the first day of school in September.
Dorchester County Public Schools Facilities Engineer Chris Hauge recently gave an update on what is left for the new high school to be ready for students on Tuesday, Sept. 3.
He said the building itself is substantially complete and passed the final Maryland state fire marshal’s inspection. He said crews have lost zero construction days over the summer, keeping the school on schedule to open on time.
Dorchester County Public Schools have scheduled tours for government officials and community members in mid-August.
Officials are scheduled to tour the school Wednesday, Aug. 14. The new building will open its doors for tours to the community from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17; 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19; and 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20.
“The move/salvage operation is complete,” Hauge said. “All items needed at the new school have been moved from the original, and other salvage items (have been) put into secured storage for future disposition per board policy. Unpacking will commence on official contract return dates for teachers.”
Hauge said first responders did walkthroughs and training in July. He said emergency communication systems are operational, with staff at the high school and North Dorchester Middle School able to talk better between the two schools.
He said the high school’s front office staff worked at North Dorchester Middle School in early July because it provided safe parking and access for staff. The front office was completed and allowed staff to move into the new Nest at the high school.
The front office staff have assisted with student registration in the front office, but the rest of the facility will have no access for the public until the tour dates.
“There are weeks of training on building systems that every facet of our school and district team needs to accomplish and understand,” Hauge said.
While the finishing touches have been going on with the new high school, crews have rapidly torn down the old high school. Crews have turned their attention to making three complete parking, approach and dropoff areas for the new high school.
Hauge said fall athletics will begin with the normal state of Maryland schedule, but training camps will start out of NDMS and associated fields.
“The startup team continues to plan, manage and execute for school needs and opening day, Sept. 3, 2019,” he said. “Beyond the immediate objective of getting what we need to open, we are in the final stages of planning the details of the site restoration and competition venues yet to be built.”
The new North Dorchester High School project was approved by the Dorchester County Council in June 2014 and by the state Board of Public Works in October 2014. The groundbreaking was in 2016.
Whiting-Turner Construction company was contracted for the project, and Hord Coplan Macht, a Baltimore architectural team, designed the building.
The new school will be a total 116,550 square feet, with 22,980 square feet dedicated to academics. It also will have a 9,800-square-foot gym, along with 2,600 square feet dedicated to special needs.