Construction workers build around an internal staircase at the new Sanford High School, which is the most expensive state-funded school in Maine history. Credit: CBS 13

It’s taken more than two years and cost more than $100 million, but the new Sanford High School is a sight to see.

“It’s 330,000 square feet of building. That’s 6.7 acres of roof alone,” Sanford Superintendent David Theoharides said. “This doesn’t look like a high school. It looks more like we’re at college right now, and it has that feeling to it it’s clean, it’s crisp — it’s very professional.”

The new school will be the most expensive in state history and has been plagued by delays.

“About a month or two behind right now, mostly due to shortages of labor,” Theoharides said.

Despite the lack of workers and a string of vandalism over the summer, the school is set to welcome students in October.

“I think for our staff, it’s been so long and being in a school that really was overcrowded,” Theoharides said.

The new school is separated into four wings and will include the Sanford Regional Technical Center, which will give students a lot more space to collaborate and learn than the old school.

“You have an old, dingy school — dirty and the lights don’t work, and the rooms are dark and no technology — it makes a huge difference,” Theoharides said.

Many of the new schools were designed with student safety at their foundations. In Sanford, the hallways were left wide open, allowing little place to hide for an active shooter.

“Short of having to put bulletproof glass everywhere, the school was designed to basically allow clear views down hallways and slow bad guys down, if you will,” Theoharides said.

It’s a state-of-the-art facility, designed to allow students the ability to succeed.

“We’re hoping that it gives students kind of a sense of community and they can’t wait to get to school every day,” Theoharides said.

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