Keith Stone opinion editor
Construction will be moving ahead this summer, starting in mid-June and continuing for more than five years. After much discussion and argument, and hours of planning, Principal Dave Jackson has a concrete plan of action for Beverly’s architectural future.
“There will be a construction fence put up around the school…we are going to lose the whole front lawn…They will ‘bag’ the school, so they have to put scaffolding up and protective covering around the school as they take the paint out of the school,” Jackson said.
While many students were frightened about the move from traditional classrooms to bungalows, Jackson is confident that only 21 classes will be moving to the “cottages”. Over the summer, from June 1-4, a moving company will assist teachers and will move the contents of the classrooms to the cottages according to the teachers’ specifications.
Jackson sees construction beginning in the “middle of June” with the “outside part where all the noise [occurs] done by August. By the time the students come back, [the workers] will only be working on the inside parts. They estimate phase one to be at least two years, which is opening up walls, re-wiring for electricity,” Jackson said.
Jackson is also strongly focusing the school’s available funds on upgrading and modernizing Beverly.
“We would like to have Wi-Fi points in every classroom. [We’re] taking everything out that has been here for 100 years and making it all brand new,” Jackson said. “In November, they will ask for an additional bond for technology that’s like $33 to 35 million.”
Money, in Jackson’s mind, is not the main issue as he cares more about how construction will affect the students and faculty.
“Estimated cost changes daily and it keeps increasing since we keep making things better. I’m really only concerned about how the changes will benefit our kids and faculty. I have nothing to say about the money, that’s for somebody else,” Jackson said.