Facility Needs

How Does the Project Improve...


  • The building has been designed to accommodate 1,200. The current student population for the fall of 2007 is 1,000. As recently as 2002 the student population was 1,100.
  • There are now significant increases at the elementary schools that justify the 1200 student population design, and may help to eliminate the need for portable classrooms in the future.

Science Facilities?

  • The current science labs are housed in the old North Annex which is being demolished and replaced.
  • The spaces are dated, the casework is not ADA-compliant, and the ventilation and electrical systems are inadequate.
  • New science lab facilities will be located within the new classroom addition, and will be equipped with new ADA-compliant casework, equipment, and utilities.

Cafeteria and Kitchen Facilities?

  • The existing cafeteria and kitchen will be removed and replaced with the proposed expansion.
  • The new cafeteria will be located along a major internal circulation spine, and will be oriented west toward the Portland skyline. It will also have direct access to the new Night Entry and expanded auditorium lobby, and will serve as a multi-purpose space supporting the auditorium performances, and the new gymnasium for use at intermissions, public meetings, and similar events.

Kitchen Service, Deliveries, and Trash Removal?

  • The current kitchen is located on the ground level of the East Annex and the Original Building, and was renovated in 1997.
  • Kitchen delivery access is currently achieved through the “courtyard” creating noise, safety issues, and fumes into the classrooms.
  • Trash is removed daily from the same location.
  • The proposed kitchen will be located adjacent to the new cafeteria, and access will be achieved via a new service drive that loops around the new gym. This keeps the activity away from classrooms and the majority of pedestrian activity.
  • Smaller deliveries can be served by the existing emergency access drive from Highland Avenue.

Energy Efficiency?

  • New construction will incorporate high performance systems for heating, ventilation, controls, power, and lighting.
  • Well insulated walls, roof areas, doors and windows will be the standard throughout.
  • At present, the Original Building, North Annex, and Beal Gym are lacking well-insulated exterior walls, doors and windows. Where practical, the renovation scope will include upgrades to these assemblies to reduce heat loss.
  • A new energy-efficient oil-fired central boiler plant will be constructed to replace the existing steam plant.
  • New light fixtures will decrease electrical consumption.
  • The combination of these improvements will result in overall savings in utility costs.

Air Quality and Comfort?

  • Presently, the majority of the school does not meet current standards for air quality.
  • All additions and renovated spaces will be served by new mechanical units that will deliver fresh air cycles to all spaces, and will meet current mechanical codes. This will vastly improve the air quality and learning environment for both students and faculty.

Athletic Fields and Athletic Facilities?

  • The current athletic field program includes tennis courts, stadium field, field hockey field, baseball field, softball fields, football practice area, marching band practice area, and miscellaneous soccer, lacrosse, and track and field areas.
  • Given the lack of quality building area, the current tennis courts will be relocated to accommodate the new gym and supporting spaces. Also eliminated are the two softball fields, but the existing baseball field will remain.
  • A new artificial turf multi-purpose field will replace the existing natural turf field (that will be relocated to Wainwright). The new artificial surface will allow multiple events to take place in one location including football, soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey games, and marching band practice and competition.
  • The existing field hockey field will be displaced during the course of construction, and will be added at the end of the project.

Safety and Security


The High School is an assembly of several wings from different eras, each meeting applicable building codes of the day. To ensure safety and access for the students, staff, and visiting public, each building will be upgraded to meet current life-safety, accessibility and building codes. This will include fire separations, fire alarm systems, smoke detection, sprinkler systems, handicapped plumbing fixtures, elevators, ramps, and barrier-free parking spaces to name a few.

Bus pick-up and drop-off

At present, Mountain View Road is host for bus stacking. To do this, buses block the entire street to stop the flow of cars while students vacate the building and board the buses. This creates congestion at both ends of the street. To solve this problem, a new separate bus loading lane capable of holding all buses during crunch time will be constructed parallel to Mountain View Road. As a result, the traffic flow along Mountain View Road will be unrestricted.

Parents will drop their students behind Beal Gym at a new dedicated cul-de-sac with direct access to their own supervised entry. The clear separation of bus traffic from student drop-off traffic will reduce congestion and improve safety throughout the school day.

Security Improvements:

There are many active points of entry into the high school complex. Ultimately, the renovated school will have a reduced quantity of unsupervised entries. After-hours use and flexibility are also important. The new complex will incorporate distinct entries for theatrical performances and athletic events, and will be secured and easily monitored after hours.  A modern security system will also be incorporated throughout the building.

A continuous emergency access drive around the entire building perimeter will enable public safety personnel to thoroughly monitor the proposed facility.

The new off-site bus loop will eliminate potential safety problems on Mountain View Road. At present, there are ongoing problems where cars pass buses while serving students during the morning and afternoon hours.

Existing security issues in the building to be improved with the proposed project:

  • Several blind spots within the building, several places to hide
  • Multiple entrances, many unsecure
  • No visibility from main entrance
  • Pedestrian congestion in the halls
  • PA system is inadequate
  • Need for additional cameras
  • Need for improved interior lockdown
  • Structural
  • Asbestos

Asbestos Removal

The South Portland School Facilities Department has completed documentation of asbestos materials throughout the school, and meets with the State to monitor the buildings annually. Based on the high level of renovation proposed with this project, all asbestos will be removed by a licensed abatement professional.


  • Where significant modifications are proposed for any of the existing buildings, such as roof replacement or modification of existing structural systems, an in-depth structural analysis and upgrades to the existing structural systems have been proposed, and shall be designed to meet current building codes.
  • In addition, where there is evidence of existing structural degradation to any part of the existing buildings, structural analysis and upgrades have been proposed.
  • Unsuitable soils throughout the site, along with areas of ledge, will require unconventional and costly foundation systems such as piles and localized blasting.


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