South

STOUGHTON

Construction begins on new Stoughton high school

Contractors recently began work on construction of a new Stoughton high school.

The $123.5 million project, which had a groundbreaking ceremony in June, calls for constructing the 214,600-square-foot facility on athletic fields adjacent to the existing school on Pearl Street. Workers are preparing the site, with plans to begin on foundations in the next few weeks.

“The entire town is very excited about the prospect of a new high school, which will enrich the community in so many ways,” said School Committee chairwoman Molly Cochran.

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The Massachusetts School Building Authority is reimbursing the district for $52.26 million of project costs. Town voters last year approved a debt exclusion, or temporary tax increase, to cover Stoughton’s $71.28 million share.

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The existing 216,000-square-foot facility, built in 1923, with additions constructed in 1952, 1955, and 1965, suffers from aging mechanical systems, outmoded science facilities, and general deterioration, according to Cochran.

The new school will include a three-story academic wing, a second wing, geared for wider community use, containing the main entranceway, the gymnasium and the auditorium, and a two-story connecting building that will include administrative offices, a multipurpose area, and a library.

The schedule calls for the school to open in the fall of 2019. A second phase of the project, involving demolition of the existing school and construction of new athletics facilities, is targeted for completion the following June.

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