This addition/renovation project houses 2,100 pupils. It required a detailed analysis of new-build v. renovation/addition options and intensive consensus building among the five towns that make up the regional school district, who had voted down projects from two previous design groups. The 380,500 sf school was broken down into four houses programmatically and all new core facilities were either inserted into, or added onto, the existing building, including a huge multi-surface field house with a wood center court and a synthetic indoor running track around the perimeter. The GREEN areas in the plan below are additions that were married with the remaining sections of the existing school, as shown in YELLOW. It was a logistical challenge of the highest order involving demolition and construction in an occupied school over a three-and-a-half year time period. All hazardous materials were removed, the school was gut-renovated, all new building envelope (roofs, doors, windows), building finishes, and MEP/FP systems and were installed, as the existing building was brought into code compliance, and up to 21st century program standards. The lessons learned during the planning and implementation of this massive addition/renovation project have proven invaluable to other districts considering the pros and cons of a potential addition/renovation project.
Wachusset Regional High School