DERRY — An aging building at Pinkerton Academy is set to be replaced by a new, three-story structure that will add classrooms and offer additional spaces to support other Pinkerton programs.
The new building will replace the high school’s aging social studies wing, which was built back in the 1970s and is showing its age, officials said.
“The current building does not meet the growing needs of the programs housed there and was identified as an area of concern in the school’s most recent reaccreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges,” according to a school press release.
Built in the early 1970s as a temporary building to meet the classroom needs of a growing student population, the structure has been used well beyond its projected lifespan, according to the release.
Pinkerton Academy Headmaster Dr. Timothy Powers came before the Derry Planning Board recently to give highlights of the new building plan, a much-needed project that will help meet the school’s needs not only in classroom space, but also with additional spaces to support other programs including the school’s special education programs ACT, and the New England Center for Children program.
The project will cost approximately $20.7 million.
The current building houses eight social studies classrooms, as well as the two year-round special education programs — ACT and NECC.
In recent years, the number of students in these programs increased, along with the variety of their needs. Space requirements conducive to their life and learning needs will be a central focus of the project.
Powers said the new building will have half the footprint of the old one, and will include updated parking areas, as well as better interior design to help students, staff and those visiting better navigate the building. and more green space surrounding the building is an added feature.
The project will be done in phases, with the first beginning this summer and into next year. A portion of the old building will be demolished, but part of it will also remain in use during the work.
Then in the spring of 2025, the second phase will involve taking down the remainder of the old building, with the new building occupied that year. The final phase is paving and striping parking areas.
This student-centered project is the result of the leadership and commitment of Pinkerton Academy Board of Trustees, along with years of partnership with school administration, faculty, and staff.
Powers added there is no official name in place for the new building. The old building was once called the Robert Frost English wing.
Pinkerton currently serves about 3,200 students, with 530 employees and is the high school of record for Derry, Chester, Hampstead, Auburn, Candia and Hooksett.
The community is invited to learn more about the construction project and its progress at pinkertonacademy.org/ssbuilding.
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