miscellaneous architecture diagram

An Architect’s Reflections on the High School

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John Cole is an AHS Building Committee member and an architect. He is also a former member of the Permanent Town Building Committee (PTBC). During his tenure on the PTBC, Mr. Cole was involved in every building project the town has undertaken over the past 20 years. At the April 29 Town Meeting, I offered this personal reflection as to …

The Consequences of a ‘No’ Vote

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At the direction of the AHS Building Committee, the Finance and Communications Subcommittees evaluated the cost of creating a working high school should Arlington vote against the debt exclusion. Because of significant enrollment growth and deteriorating facility conditions, doing nothing will not be an option; the needs are pressing and must be addressed in the next few years. This report …

Update: High School Benchmarks – We are not alone

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Note: This blog provides an update to the previous benchmark analysis performed earlier in the project. Arlington, Belmont, Waltham, Saugus and Somerville are five high school building projects navigating through similar challenges — dense suburbs with comparably scaled projects being undertaken within the same timeframe. While there are similarities between the projects, none of these projects (or other projects in …

Educational Vision: An Interview with the AHS Principal

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What is exciting about the design for the new high school? Ask Principal Matthew Janger, and he will tell you that he is excited by the way the design meets all the Guiding Principles that were set forth in the AHS Educational Program in the early stages of the building project. Dr. Janger says that, “This is a building that …

Cost: The Big Picture

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This blog gives a big picture view of what contributes to the overall cost of the new high school. There are three primary drivers that must be considered: High Schools are costly The Boston area construction market is expensive Arlington High School has specific factors that increase its cost above a typical high school building project High schools are expensive …

Cost cutting measures to-date

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Throughout the project, the Building Committee has been mindful of the financial impact of the project on today’s taxpayers, while planning a school that will serve the town for the next century. The Committee has explored multiple ways to reduce the cost of the project, all resulting in a lower project cost to taxpayers. This blog summarizes these cost-cutting efforts. …

Request for Services estimates explained

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This blog answers questions that have come up recently regarding very preliminary project estimates for $150M that were included in the Request for Service (RFS) documents when the Building Committee was soliciting proposals for an Owner’s Project Manager and a Designer/Architect in 2016. . Budget development is an ongoing process through the Feasibility Study and Schematic Design phases of the …

Arriving at the final project budget

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As the project nears the end of the Schematic Design phase, the Building Committee has spent the past few weeks reviewing refined cost estimates and discussing adjustments to the project budget. At the February 5 meeting, the Building Committee voted unanimously on a proposed project budget of $291M, a $17M reduction from the preliminary estimate of $308M last summer. Read …

Parmenter School Analysis

At the January 22nd Building Committee meeting, the committee further discussed the results of the Parmenter space and cost analysis performed by HMFH Architects. After reviewing the study results and a discussion of the pros and cons, the Building Committee voted to use the Parmenter School only as a temporary location for Menotomy Preschool during construction of AHS and not …

High School Benchmarks: We are not alone

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4/22/19 Note: The figures used in this blog are based on Preferred Schematic Report estimates from 2018. For an updated analysis with the more recent Schematic Design project budget, refer to our updated blog. Arlington, Belmont, Waltham, Saugus and Somerville are five High School building projects navigating through similar challenges–dense suburbs with somewhat comparably scaled projects being undertaken generally within …