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    SOMERVILLE

    Somerville celebrates start of high school construction project

    City and state leaders recently celebrated the start of construction of a new 1,590-student Somerville High School.

    Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, US Representative Michael Capuano, School Superintendent Mary Skipper, State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg, and Jack McCarthy, executive director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, were among those on hand for the ribbon cutting event.

    Suffolk Construction is serving as construction manager for the $256 million project, which calls for 295,265 square feet of new constriction and the renovation of 82,141 square feet of the existing school building located at the city’s Central Hill campus on Highland Avenue.

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    The School Building Authority has agreed to reimburse the city for up to $124 million of the costs, leaving the city’s estimated share at $132 million.

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    The first major construction work, the demolition of the “C” wing of the school, began June 22, following two months of work by contractors to remove contaminants from the site.

    The new building is expected to be open in the fall of 2020 and the overall project including final site improvements is expected to be completed in the spring of 2021.

    Modular classroom units have been installed to accommodate phasing of the project; as a result, students will not need to be relocated off-site during construction.

    John Laidler can be reached at john.laidler@globe.com.