AHS rebuild approved to move on to schematic design stage

ahs preferred design 62618Footprint design by HMFH Architects of Cambridge.

UPDATED, Sept. 3: The Massachusetts School Building Authority board voted Wednesday, Aug. 29, to move Arlington High School into the next phase of the years-long rebuilding process, called schematic design, state Rep. Sean Garballey reported on social media.

Group forms to retain historic features, lawn

The AHS Building Committee met Tuesday. Sept. 4, sixth floor, AHS, and members of the group and others were present.

The state agency and the town will now look at possible options to replace Arlington High School, he wrote. The next step in the process aims to produce detailed designs for a potential project.

School Committee member Jennifer Susse, in an email Aug. 30, wrote that the state agency met last week and voted a favorable recommendation on Arlington’s preferred option, once called option 3A, which the AHS Building Committee approved in late June and affirmed July 10.

The vote mark the end of the feasibility stage, she wrote. Developed in the next stage will be many of the details of what the school will look like -- both inside and out.

Drawing places elements; more design later

"Remember, that the picture that is currently on the website is only a massing drawing that roughly indicates where programs and building elements will be located," she wrote. "The final design will be a lot more interesting, and will likely pay tribute to some of the design elements that people like in the current building.

"This is also the module that will develop the final scope, budget and schedule for the project. Previous numbers and timelines were estimates only."

The goal is to finish the schematic design next spring, she wrote, with the expectation of going to the voters in June for a debt exclusion to pay for the project.

A preliminary estimated puts the project cost at $308 million. With an estimated state reimbursement, the town would fund about $211 million

Who attended meeting 

In an Aug. 29 afternoon news release, Superintendent Kathleen Bodie said that representatives of the town and its public schools attended the morning meeting.

The proposed new school, to be situated on the existing site, will replace the current structure. The project calls for a 415,400-square-foot facility for 1,755 students serving grades nine through 12.

The current high school is made up of an original 1914 building, with additions and renovations occurring in 1938, during the 1960s and in 1981. The building suffers from structural and exterior envelope deficiencies, and additional plant and accessibility issues. It is not suited to current educational practices and is also becoming overcrowded.

Jeff Thielman, AHS Building Committee chair and School Committee member, thanked the state agency board for its support of the project:

“We appreciate the thoughtful and considered study you made of our submission that has resulted in this positive vote. We are pleased that the work of so many in the district and Town of Arlington has resulted in the approval of a preferred option that will meet the future educational needs of Arlington students.”

Other Arlington attendees at the meeting were Kirsi Alison-Ampe, School Committee chair; Jim Feeney, assistant town manager; and Matthew Janger, principal of Arlington High School.

Bodie expresses gratitude for the project and would like to recognize the strong teamwork of the Arlington High School Building Committee, HMFH Architects Inc., and Skanksa USA Building Inc.

The MSBA partners with Massachusetts communities to support the design and construction of educationally appropriate, flexible, sustainable and cost-effective public school facilities.

For information about Arlington’s preferred option and FAQs, click here >> 

June 26, 2018: DESIGN CHOSEN: High school to be rebuilt, not renovated

June 6, 2018: AHS rebuild process moves toward one design by end of June
 Official information about the high school building project  
June 7, 2018: Official summary of June 4 meeting
April 13, 2018: Town manager clarifies costs for new AHS: It's still early
March 7, 2018: THIRD FORUM: 100 tour AHS, look into future; hear flexibility touted
Jan. 12, 2018: 125 attend as public process to launch AHS update underway
Dec. 20, 2017: Could new AHS be built elsewhere in town? 4 sites suggested
Dec. 12, 2017: AHS Building Committee prepares to focus on its visions'
Nov. 11, 2017: Cost, timeline, design for a changed Arlington High emerges
Oct. 24, 2017: Designer chosen for revamped Arlington High project
Oct. 4, 2017: 3 finalists chosen to design revamped Arlington High
May 25, 2016: State says Arlington High School rebuild can advance
Feb. 15, 2017: Arlington High School rebuild OK'd for next stage: Is it feasible? 
State Building Authority process >> 

This news announcement was published Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018, and updated Sept. 3.

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