Design Items For Schematic Design

Throughout the Schematic Design phase, the single preferred option is developed to sufficient detail to determine the project scope, budget, and schedule.

The design team has identified several areas of high impact, where critical decisions need to be made to define the project scope. To do this, every aspect of the project scrutinized and refined with feedback from stakeholders throughout the schools, town, and community.

As the Building Committee evaluates each of these areas, they are actively seeking feedback from community stakeholders and other experts, such as traffic engineers and sustainability professionals. Your feedback is critical to make sure the project meets the needs of Andover residents, and we thank you for engaging in the process.

The below were described by HMFH Architects during the 6/29/2023 AHS Building Committee meeting and are summarized in the categories of either potential cost-saving measures or potential added-scope items. As discussion progress and decisions are made, updates will be provided in the Project News section of this website.

Importantly, the costs for each item are preliminary estimates from the feasibility design phase of the project. Once project scope is refined during Schematic Design, the project will go through a full cost estimating exercise meant to establish the total project budget for consideration of approval by Andover voters.

Potential Cost-Saving Measures

1. Refinement of Space Summary – $1,150,000/1,000 net square feet

UPDATE from 6/29/23: Reductions found of approximately $14.5 million as of June 2023

Following the presentation of the preliminary Feasibility Cost information in late March 2023, the project team has regularly met with Andover Public Schools (APS) educators and other school personnel to refine the Space Summary for the project, and identified ~19,000 gross square feet that can be removed from the project while still meeting the educational plan.

This was achieved through consolidation of spaces, adjusting space sizes, and other scrutiny, which as of June 2023 has yielded a deduction of $14,500,000 from the $480,847,000 preliminary total project budget.

The project team will continue to meet with APS during Schematic Design to continue refinement of the Space Summary program. The architects have noted each 1,000 square foot reduction provides roughly $1,150,000 in savings.

2. Material Reductions – ~$18,000,000 (target)

The project team and AHS Building Committee are currently targeting approximately $18,000,000 in potential savings by using alternative interior and exterior materials than those currently included within the preliminary base project cost.

If pursued by the Committee, the exterior of the building would be primarily a masonry façade with fewer “high-end” features such as metal panels, rain screens, curtainwalls, and storefronts. The downside of a masonry facade is that it is not as aesthetically appealing; however, they have lower maintenance costs, are more durable, and last longer.

An example of an alternative material within the interior of the building includes the use of polished concrete in lieu of terrazzo floors, or the use of terrazzo in only limited areas, such as those with high-traffic in most need of durability.

3. Natural Turf in lieu of Artificial Turf – $1,500,000

UPDATE from 8/8/23: Voted to maintain artificial turf in the project for the multi-sports field along Shawsheen Road, as currently reflected in base scope

The AHS Building Committee is currently evaluating the use of natural turf in lieu of artificial turf for the proposed multi-use sports field. This decision to pursue natural turf as opposed to artificial would result in approximately $1,500,000.

The disadvantages of natural turf versus artificial turf include the need to periodically close natural turf fields for rest periods to prevent damage, higher maintenance costs, the inability to be used during certain weather conditions, and requirements for irrigation. Additionally, natural turf does not meet athletic program goals.

Potential Added-Scope Items

4. Solar Panel Ownership – estimated at $17,246,000

UPDATE from 7/13/2023: Voted not to add this to the project, and instead pursue a Power Purchase Agreement

Solar energy will be provided as part of the project; however, the decision that the Committee was tasked with was deciding on whether solar energy would be produced via solar panels purchased directly through the project budget or if the Town should accomplish this through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

A PPA would involve a third-party vendor furnishing and installing solar panels on Town owned entities (i.e. new Andover High School) and in return supplying solar energy. The new Andover High School building structure will be designed to accommodate solar panels whether purchased by the Town and included as part of the project budget or purchased by a third-party and installed through a Power Purchase Agreement.

5. Heavy Timber Structure – estimated at $7,556,000

UPDATE from 9/28/23: Voted not to add this to the project

This item includes replacing 40% of the building’s structure with wood. Heavy timber structures can reduce the use of steel and concrete, and sequester carbon in the wood elements, especially when an end-of-life plan is considered.

Due to structural limitations for timber structures including span limits, greater structural depth, and material movement, this add would be limited to partial structures of timber floors, roofs, and beams (not columns) for public areas.

This option is being considered to accommodate sustainability goals previously established during the Feasibility Study phase related to reducing the amount of embodied carbon for construction of the project.

6. Porous Pavement – estimated at $6,320,000 at surface parking

UPDATE from 6/29/23: Voted not to add this to the project

Porous pavement provide environmental benefits including groundwater recharging and reduction in stormwater runoff. However, HMFH Architect’s civil engineer, Samiotes, provided a memo indicating that porous pavement is not advisable on the project site due to the high water table and existing site conditions.

The Committee unanimously voted to remove this item from further exploration at the same meeting where it was initially discussed.

7. Expansion of Current Plateau Field – $2,435,000

UPDATE from 8/8/23: Voted to accept this added-scope item and expand the plateau field to a competition-sized field with artificial turf

The base project cost includes providing ADA access to the existing plateau field, which is currently set on a hill and is not sized to adequately support athletics. This added-cost item would involve providing an expanded artificial turf field that supports athletics and ADA access.

8. Skate Park – estimated at $4,710,000

UPDATE from 8/24/23: Voted not to include a skate park in the project with the understanding that the Town will explore alternate site locations

The base project cost does not currently include a skate park. The Town/Recreation and school departments are evaluating the current use of the skate park and considering whether the current high school site is the best location for this function, or if a more suitable location exists elsewhere.

9. Parking Garage – estimated at $43,060,000

UPDATE from 6/29/23: Voted not to include a parking garage in the project largely due to cost

A parking garage was not included in the base project cost and was priced to help maximize the use of the crowded site, allow for more field space, and provide environmental benefits.

10. Sports Lighting – estimated at $5,086,000

UPDATE from 8/24/23: Voted not to include sports lighting at the multipurpose field, baseball field or softball field; no decision made regarding sports lighting at the plateau field

The base project cost does not include any additional lighting for the new fields, only maintaining the existing lighting at Lovely Field. If sports lighting were to be provided, the lights would be designed to prevent light pollution on neighboring properties to avoid impacts to abutters and would be dark-sky compliant.

11. Upgraded Mechanical Plant – estimated at $17,341,000 Air Source Heat Pump OR $41,832,000 Geothermal (Ground Source Heat Pump)

The base project cost includes a highly efficient variable refrigerant flow system. An upgraded mechanical plant would allow for higher efficiencies and possible renewable initiatives to offset added costs.

The Town and project team will be completing a Life Cycle Cost analysis to better understand the benefits of using an air source heat pump or geothermal system which will better inform this decision during Schematic Design.

12. Sustainable Irrigation – $1,187,000 Rainwater Harvesting OR $311,000 Groundwater Wells

This added scope item includes providing rainwater harvesting collected in underground cisterns or using groundwater wells to irrigate natural grass/planting beds in lieu of potable water.

13. Enclosed Walkway – $2,884,000

The base project cost includes a covered walkway from the new building to the Field House. As an added-scope item, a fully enclosed walkway between the two structures could be provided. In addition to comfort, security and safety concerns will be considered.