, Salem, MA

September 20, 2012

Dunn Wing demolition begins at Danvers High

By Ethan Forman
Staff Writer

---- — DANVERS — After 40 years, the Dunn Wing is coming down.

Yesterday, a demolition crew used an excavator to rip out the back of the three-story, brick addition to Danvers High, which was built in 1972 to accommodate an overflow of students. At the time, the school held 2,000 students. The new high school is being built to accommodate 1,000.

“It will take three weeks to take the building down,” said public works director David Lane. That includes sorting the demolition materials, which will then be recycled.

The demolition is designed to be dust-free so as not to cause problems with the portions of Danvers High that are occupied. Noise from knocking down the buildings has not been issue, he said. However, the demolition also involves breaking up and removing the foundation, which includes the use of a hydraulic hammer, Lane said.

“You could just feel the vibrations, and it’s a little bit loud,” he said.

The $71 million renovation of the high school will provide a sweeping new entrance facing east toward Burley Street. Phase 2 of construction at the school will include a new cafeteria, school store, principal’s office and a suite of offices for the district’s central office staff.

Over the years, the Dunn Wing has been used as a junior high and a middle school, and even served as a temporary town hall for a year.

The building was named after the longest-serving principal of the old Holten High, Cornelius Dunn. The administrative suite in the Holten Richmond Middle School was recently named for Dunn, who worked at that building.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.