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Minuteman High School Building Project Reaches Major Milestone

Minuteman High School Building Project Reaches Major Milestone

LEXINGTON / LINCOLN – The Minuteman High School building project has reached another major milestone.

In ceremonies attended by hundreds of students, dignitaries, and Minuteman supporters, Gilbane Building Co. used a 185-foot crane to lift the final steel beam into place over what will become the new high school’s main entrance.  Erection of the 24-foot beam – painted white and signed by students, teachers, elected officials, and well-wishers – marks completion of the steel structure of the building.

“What a beautiful sight,” said Dr. Edward A. Bouquillon, the school’s Superintendent, as the final steel beam was lifted into place in what builders traditionally call a “Topping Off Ceremony”.  An American flag and small tree were also attached to the beam. 

Jack McCarthy, Executive Director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), told the gathering that the ceremony “is meant as a celebration of the workers.”  He singled out workers from Ironworkers Local 7 for special recognition.    

Speaking on behalf of the area legislative delegation, State Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington), praised state and town officials for keeping the project moving forward over the past ten years.  “We did it for all those people back there – all those kids,” Senator Friedman said, as she pointed to hundreds of Minuteman students standing behind the state and local dignitaries.  “We are so proud of Minuteman,” she said. 

In addition to Mr. McCarthy and Senator Friedman, a host of dignitaries attended the April 12 ceremonies.  They included State Senator Dean Tran (R-Fitchburg), Rep. Jay Kaufman (D-Lexington), and Rep. Jennifer Benson (D-Lunenburg).  They were joined by town managers, select board members, and area school officials, as well as members of the Minuteman School Committee, the Minuteman School Building Committee, the school’s Program Advisory Committees, the Minuteman Futures Foundation, and the Campaign for Minuteman’s Future.

Despite some challenging weather over the fall and winter, the Minuteman project remains on schedule and on budget, school officials said. Students are scheduled to start classes in the new building in the fall of 2019.

“Look what a skilled workforce can do in less than ten months,” said Dr. Bouquillon as he surveyed the concrete and steel building skeleton that will become the new Minuteman High School.  He described the new Minuteman as “the school of the future.” 

The new school, with a design capacity of 628 students, is being built on the Lincoln side of Minuteman’s property.  The new school will combine 16 career and technical education programs -- and a robust offering of academic programs – under two Career Academies and five Pathways.

The “Topping Off Ceremony” is a traditional builders’ rite marking the point when the final steel beam is lifted into place at a construction site.  A tree or leafy branch along with an American flag are often tied to the beam, to represent good luck and to demonstrate patriotism.   

Initial clearing and grading of the site got underway in June of 2017.  In late February of 2018, the Town of Lincoln issued a building permit covering completion of the entire project. Gilbane Building Company is scheduled to turn over the new school to Minuteman next spring – more than one (1) full year ahead of estimates initially given to the member towns.

The project budget is $144.9 million, with roughly $44 million of that expected from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).

 Gilbane Building Company is the Construction Manager.  Skanska Building USA is the Owner’s Project Manager.  Kaestle Boos Associates is the Project Architect.

Written progress reports and videos of the project are available on the Minuteman website (


For Release:  April 12, 2018
Contact:  Steven C. Sharek  (781) 861-6500, ext. 7360