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Designer chosen for revamped Arlington High project

In 2013, a group tours Old Hall at AHS.A look back to look ahead: In 2013, imagining a new school, a group tours Old Hall at AHS.

HMFH Architects of Cambridge, the designer of the revamped Thompson and its addition, has been chosen to guide how a future Arlington High School will look. 

At its meeting Tuesday, Oct. 24, the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s (MSBA) Designer Selection Panel selected HMFH Architects as the design firm for future improvements at Arlington High School. Pending successful contract negotiations, HMFH will provide crucial and broad services for the project.

The Designer Selection Panel was formed by the MSBA and included 13 appointed members and three representatives of Arlington, including the superintendent of schools, the School Committee and AHS Building Committee chair and a designee of the town manager. The AHS Building Designer Subcommittee had previously reviewed all applications.

The 13 MSBA appointed members of the Designer Selection Panel were recruited from recommended candidates of the Boston Society of Architects, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts and the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts, as well as MSBA staff, and independent design and construction professionals. 

Jeff Thielman, chair of the Arlington School Committee and the Arlington High School Building Committee, said in a news release: "We have a great opportunity to work with a highly regarded firm. Having worked with HMFH Architects Inc. on prior projects, we have confidence that the design process will result in an improved high school that meets educational needs with a strong design component."

HMFH is an architectural firm focused on the design of student living and learning environments. HMFH designed the Thompson Town of Arlington, as well as the six-classroom addition, still under construction. HMFH is made up of 36 architects and designers with an expanded leadership and certification as a woman-owned business. Founded in 1969, HMFH Architects has built opportunities for learning on a local, regional and national level. HMFH has executed 17 projects through the MSBA 963 CMR 2.00 School Building Grant Program and are fully familiar with the processes required to achieve a successful outcome.

Key participant

The designer will be a key participant in the renovation/rebuild of Arlington High School. HMFH will:

• guide information gathering on building condition, educational program, and community expectations and desires;

• Assist the school administration in using this information to develop an educational plan;

• Create preliminary designs for the rebuilt high school that allow implementation of the educational plan;

• Help the Arlington High School Building Committee and community select the preferred design;

• Develop complete plans for the chosen design; and

• Ensure the new structure is built according to plan.

The AHS Building Committee invites the public to find additional information here >> 

The Mass. School Building Authority Designer Selection Committee voted to select HMFH as the design firm for AHS. Arlington has three representatives on the committee -- Superintendent Kathleen Bodie; resident Daniel Ruiz, sitting in for Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine; and Thielman.. 

On Oct. 4, three firms were chosen as finalists to design a revamped Arlington High School. They were Arrowstreet  of Boston, Feingold Alexander Architects of Boston and HMFH Architects of Cambridge.

In September, six designers submitted proposals to work on the AHS building project. The three that were not selected were Drummey Rosane Anderson (DRA) of Waltham, Flansburgh Associates of Boston and Kaestle Boos Associates of Boxborough and Boston.

Feingold Alexander is the architect for the former Gibbs School project. HMFH designed the Thompson addition. DRA designed the recently completed Stratton School renovation.

The AHS School Building Committee's next meeting is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, in the School Committee Room, sixth floor, AHS.

Official information about the high school building project
Feb. 15, 2017: Arlington High School rebuild OK'd for next stage: Is it feasible? 
May 25, 2016: State says Arlington High School rebuild can advance
State Building Authority process >> 

This news summary was published Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017.

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