Months ahead of schedule, the $16 million, 37,000-square-foot expansion at Cape High is nearing completion and may be able to host students taking Advanced Placement exams in April, officials said.
The original move-in date was scheduled for August 2021, Cape Director of Capital Projects Brian Bassett said.
“The main reason we are able to deliver this building early is because of our construction manager, Robert Y. Johnson,” Bassett said. “They have done a great job maneuvering through these COVID months to keep the job moving, crew scheduled and materials ordered.”
The team never stopped working during the past 12 months, Bassett said, and architectural firm ABHA delivered blueprints to follow that prevented any delays or revisions.
“Our contractors have been tremendous with working ahead of schedule,” Bassett said. “We knew the rooms could be needed early because of COVID, and everyone embraced the challenge. We will be finishing up a few exterior cosmetic items, like the metal panels and courtyard, but the interior space will be ready for use.”
Principal Nikki Miller said she hopes to use some of the classrooms for AP testing.
“There are 12 days in which we have AP exams, and if we are able to use the classrooms that will be a big help,” Miller said. “Because we use every possible classroom space for instruction in the main building, having these rooms for testing will keep us from displacing classrooms of instruction for testing.”
Other than testing, if possible, Miller said the space will not be occupied until next year.
“We want to ensure teachers have the proper amount of time to get their room set up and that all aspects of the building, especially technology, are up and running,” she said.
When complete, the expansion will hold up to 400 students in 20 classrooms and four Consortium spaces, and will house the ninth-grade academy, Miller said.
“However, that does not mean upperclassmen won’t have classes in the new wing,” Miller said. “Many of our teachers teach more than one grade level. We look forward to this new wing being a highlight of what will begin a wonderful 2021-22 school year.”
Construction began in December 2019 on the two-story project that runs parallel to Kings Highway and will blend with the mansard roof and stone-and-brick facade of the original building.