SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 23, 2014

Essex Tech's final touches

Tour highlights state-of-art school's signature features

DANVERS — The main building of the $135 million Essex Technical High measures three football fields in length.

It’s just one of several buildings built on a brand-new campus along Maple Street as part of the creation of a new regional technical school.

“We are at 90 percent completion,” said Superintendent Dan O’Connell. “We are on time, we are on budget for $135 million, and we plan on being here, bringing in all the furniture late June and early July.”

When the 1,440-student school opens in the fall, it will house the programs of state-owned Essex Agricultural and Technical School, which draws students from across the county; the 16-district North Shore Technical High in Middleton; and Peabody’s high school vocational programs. The school is being built on the campus of Essex Aggie in the Hathorne section of town.

Once complete, the school will house four separate academies and 24 technical areas. The agricultural buildings are already occupied by Essex Aggie students, and new automotive and collision-repair buildings have sprung up at the back of the school. The campus will also have a lighted stadium with a running track and an artificial turf field.

During a tour Tuesday, workers were putting the finishing touches on the project amid newly installed floors, walls and carpets. One could see the metal studs of interior walls for the HVAC area, one of four new programs at the school. The tour also took in the sight and smell of the freshly varnished floor of the Essex Tech gym, which already sports the school’s mascot, the hawk.

Getting his first look at the school was former Senate Majority Leader Fred Berry, who said he pushed for the merger so the North Shore could have a state-of-the-art technical school similar to other regions in the state. He anticipated a long waiting list for enrollment once people see the facility.

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