North

Andover

Bancroft Elementary celebrates topping off

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School officials and educators recently celebrated a major milestone in the Bancroft Elementary School construction project. Skanska USA, the construction company working on the new school, held a topping-off ceremony Feb. 13 to celebrate the installation of the building’s final piece of steel. Bancroft students sang the Pledge of Allegiance as construction workers raised a white steel beam that had been signed by Bancroft teachers and students, town officials, and school administrators onto the school’s frame. When completed, the project will add a new 106,486-square-foot building adjacent to the existing Bancroft school that opened in 1969. The new building is designed to accommodate 680 students and will include classrooms, administrative space, a library, gymnasium, play field, and cafeteria, according to district officials. The topping-off ceremony came two days after voters at a Special Town Meeting appropriated an additional $5.7 million to complete the new school, money that was needed because of a delay in construction due to litigation by abutters who opposed the project. Voters had approved the project’s original price tag of $44.7 million in January 2011. The new Bancroft school is expected to open for the 2014-2015 school year.

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