Design Topic: Accessibility

The existing Andover High School is inundated with accessibility issues that not only hinder learning opportunities for students but also making it difficult to traverse the building on a daily basis.

A study conducted by the Institute for Human Centered Design in 2017 captured accessibility issues with the following: parking, accessible routes and clearances, fixture heights, work surfaces, signage, and more.

As required, a new or renovated Andover High School would be fully compliant with MAAB and ADA guidelines. That said, the Town acknowledges there are opportunities to exceed these requirements and provide universal design accommodations.

A major objective for the Town in the project is creating an inclusive design by integrating accessible features within the building for use by all. As part of the design process, the AHS project team, Building Committee, and stakeholders have identified several universal design considerations including the following:

  • Three elevators dispersed throughout the building for ease of travel
  • Assistive listening & voice-lift technology
  • Appropriate acoustical treatment and materials
  • Adjustable & tunable light levels to create a calming environment
  • Non-glare materials and low/high contrast materials where appropriate for those with low sight levels
  • Accessible control rooms & seating within the Auditorium
  • Accessible furniture within classrooms and labs
  • All building entrances, outdoor spaces, and travel routes equally accessible to all
  • Wayfinding signage

The AHS project team has met with the Disabilities Alliance Club during the Feasibility Phase and will continue to incorporate their ideas through the next stages of design.