MANATEE — The month-long demolition of a historic Manatee High School building began Tuesday.
The north wing of the Paul F. Davis Building, built in 1926, was brought down by construction crews by 4 p.m. Workers this morning are expected to begin hauling concrete, bricks and other rubble off the school’s property at 902 33rd St. Court W.
“We’re doing one thing at a time and the first part of the takedown went smoothly,” said Van Mitchell, senior project manager with Creative Contractors Inc. of Clearwater.
The demolition is expected to be finished by Feb. 15.
Next, crews will tear down the building’s lobby, south wing, auditorium area and finally, the music area, Mitchell said.
Manatee High Principal Bob Gagnon said part one of the demolition caused little disruption to the students who are housed in portables adjacent to the building.
“So far there’s a little bit of noise, but we’re adjusting well,” Gagnon said. “They’re very conscientiousness of our kids and their environment.”
After the teardown, a similar building immediately will go up in its place.
“We know we’re going to preserve that same traditional look that‘s there now,” Gagnon said.
“Obviously, there is some emotion with this, but at the same time some excitement for the new one. Like the old one, which served students and staff proudly, this one will too.”
The new 66,936 square-foot building will have more technology in classrooms, easier access for visitors, including the handicapped, and a performing arts center that will be one of the largest in the area, Gagnon said.
It also will include rooms for band, chorus, dance and orchestra and state-of-the-art sound and lighting.
Natalie Neysa Alund, staff writer, can be reached at 745-7095.