Project At-a-Glance

Facility History

  • Andover High was designed beginning in 1963 for grades 10 through 12
  • The school first opened in February 1968
  • The Collins Center was added in 1983
  • 9th grade was moved into Andover High in 1989
  • In 1995, the building was partially renovated and space was added. Primary changes were: addition of the science wing, new entrance, new art classrooms, new field house, and the gym and cafeteria were expanded.
  • Since 1963, standard for educational space – including general classroom size, special education space, lab space – have changed. Based on today’s state standards, the capacity of AHS is 1,400 students

State Partnership Efforts

Andover has submitted a “statement of interest” (SOI) to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) seeking state assistance for AHS 8 times between 2008 and 2021. The state program is highly competitive, and AHS has never been selected. You can find the most recently submitted SOI here.

Financial analysis shows continuing to wait for MSBA program acceptance is not financially responsible, primarily because construction costs are increasing at a higher rate than MSBA reimbursement rates. Simply put, delaying the project and waiting for potential MSBA partnership will negate any financial benefit.

For further information on this financial analysis, please refer the June 14, 2023 building committee presentation, beginning on slide 15.

Anticipated project schedule

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Building Sizing

Throughout the preliminary design phases of the project, the design team has worked closely with Andover educators and school administrators to identify key programmatic areas for support in accordance with the District’s Educational Plan.

Initial building space requirements were developed using the MSBA space summary template as a baseline. Though Andover is not partnered with the MSBA, their baseline is a starting point commonly used statewide, though it is typically exceeded based on the specific needs of a district.

Because size can be the largest driver of building cost, the project and educational leadership team has continuously worked to consolidate space where possible while still meeting programmatic requirements. For example, since Feasibility Design pricing in March 2023, the space plan has subtracted roughly 25,000 net square feet at a savings of approximately $18 million.

As of July 2023, community-use areas — notably the existing field house, space for AndoverTV, and an enhanced auditorium — account for almost two-thirds of the total overage above baseline. Throughout Schematic Design the project team and district will continue to work to right-size the new school.

For more information regarding the space summary, including amount of square footage planned and explanation of why the baseline is exceeded in some categories, please refer to the Schematic Design FAQs and slides from the June 14, 2023 building committee meeting.

Project Goals

  • Enhance safety and security
  • Eliminate overcrowding
  • Accommodate enrollment growth
  • Support educational program and delivery
  • Improve physical environment
  • Improve site use and campus circulation


The former Andover High Feasibility Study Committee spent five years (January 2017 to February 2022) examining options for adding space and/or making other improvements to Andover High. They were unsuccessful in finding a solution that would address both the learning environment and physical condition of the building for less than $100 million. As a result, the School Committee and Select Board voted to established the AHS Building Committee to further investigate options for renovation or replacement of Andover High.

The Feasibility Study phase of this work commenced in July 2022. Efforts included selection of design enrollment, development of the District’s AHS Educational Plan, and a series of building committee meetings, community forums, meetings with students, teachers/school staff, Town departments, and advisory committees.

HMFH Architects originally developed 11 site approaches for the Committee’s evaluation. With feedback from the community, in December 2022, the Committee narrowed the number of site approaches to 3, and in February 2023 narrowed further to 2. An evaluation matrix (see slide 36-39) was developed to assist in decision making, and included “feasibility level” pricing intended only to compare the final approaches to each other.

Ultimately, the the “New Campus with New Auditorium” construction option was selected as the final option for further development at the April 6, 2023 AHS Building Committee meeting. The Andover School Committee approved this selection at their April 6, 2023 meeting, and the Andover Select Board approved this selection at their June 12, 2023 meeting.

Enrollment Trends

Andover High School’s enrollment has fluctuated between 1,647 and 1,806 in the past 20 years, with the most recent dip during COVID. Based on today’s space standards, the capacity of Andover High School is approximately 1,400 students.

Historic Enrollment at AHS

A demographer has worked with the district in both 2017 and late 2022 to examine enrollment. These analyses considered Andover-specific factors including housing turnover, community demographics, mobility rates, develop-able land and zoning.

The 2022 update was commissioned to also consider that several thing changing since the 2017 report including: downward trend of public school enrollment statewide during COVID, and construction of a new, larger West Elementary & Shawsheen Preschool facilities.

In 2017, a report and presentation were delivered by the demographer. The updated 2022 demographic report was discussed by the Building Committee in March 2023.

Separately in 2017, the Mass School Building Authority (MSBA), looked at Andover enrollment projections. Their analysis primarily considers birth rates of town residents, missing the significant number of APS families that move into town only after giving birth.

This information has aided the project team in determining a design enrollment target to right-size the building.