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Let the new bell toll

School’s iconic tower will be finished by the time school starts Sept. 9. Project cost just under $45 million.

August 24, 2009|By Joseph Serna

Newport Harbor High School’s Robins Hall is on schedule to be completed by the first day of school, and its trademark 100-foot-tall bell tower is just getting its finishing touches, district officials said Monday.

The $45-million project is on schedule to be dedicated by the district school board Oct. 8, said Tim Marsh, administrative director of facility support services.

Monday, workers were painting the face of the clock on the storied bell tower, which was knocked down almost exactly two years ago, and teachers were moving into the 100,000-square-foot building.

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“All in all, the project has gone very well,” Marsh said. “The science wing, the offices, food service and library area will all be ready to use by the first day of school.”

The first day of school is Sept. 9.

While the construction company, Bernards Construction, bid that it could do the job for about $43 million, the district had a little wiggle room, and it appears everything should be completed for just under $45 million, Marsh said.

The large compass identifiable with the original bell tower was saved and has already been installed below the new one. Workers are installing special flooring around it, to make “the whole room come together,” Marsh said.

The hundreds of thousands of dollars in donated artwork that decorated Robins Hall walls has been stored in Los Angeles.

By late fall, it should all be back at Newport Harbor High, he said.

The library will be open but still a bit empty, Marsh said. District officials said library employees will be so busy with students’ textbooks that fully stocking the new library will take a few weeks. Also, the performing arts theater will not be opened until later in the fall, he said.


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