Updates from 4/6/2023 Building Committee Meeting: Selection of Preferred Option

During the Andover High School Building Committee Meeting on 4/6/2023, the Building Committee unanimously voted to recommend “Campus 2 with New Auditorium” as the preferred building option to proceed into Schematic Design.

Reasons cited by the Committee for choosing this option included: it is the most efficient building/site layout, is the least disruptive to students, it has the shortest construction duration, and it is the most financially responsible option.

Process Background

Since the start of Feasibility Study phase in September 2022, the Committee and project team have held 14 building committee meetings, 6 community forums, 2 tours of the existing high school, 2 sustainability charettes, and various meetings with students, teachers/school staff, Town departments, advisory committees, etc. for feedback on a future Andover High School Project.

As part of this phase, the Committee engaged Cropper GIS to verify their prior analysis in 2017 of the Town’s past and future population demographics, and maintained a prior recommendation of a 1,900-student design enrollment for a building with a minimum life expectancy of 50 years.

Educators spent considerable time defining and articulating an Educational Plan to detail Andover High’s existing program offerings and provide insight to programmatic goals, and teaching and learning practices. This Plan provided the foundation for the design process and has been used to define the types and amounts of spaces that would most benefit Andover High students now and in the future.

The design enrollment, educational plan developed by Andover Public Schools, and feedback from project stakeholders all helped inform the space summary program (update from April 6th meeting here), which has driven the size and building configurations.

HMFH Architects initially developed 11 site approaches (8 of which were new building approaches and 3 were additions/renovations) for the Committee’s evaluation. In December 2022, the Committee narrowed the number of site approaches to 3. This included 1 addition/renovation approach referred to as “Courtyard” and 2 new building approaches referred to as “Campus 2” and “Stand Alone,” both with an option to renovate the existing Collins Center or construct a new theater attached to the building.

In February 2023, the Committee selected the Courtyard approach and the Campus 2 approach with an option to renovate the existing Collins Center or build a new theater for continued evaluation and pricing. Factors driving this decision included accessibility, the proximity to the Field House and Collins Center, the proximity to abutters, and the distance from Shawsheen Road. The Committee understood that either approach would be designed to meet the educational plan. Additionally, a community forum was held prior to the Committee’s vote to allow the public to provide feedback on their preferred approach.

Images of the selected Campus 2 with New Auditorium building option can be seen below (click to view full graphic):

April 6th Presentation & Updates

As part of the presentation at the 4/6/23 Building Committee meeting, the team:

  • reviewed the preliminary cost information that was initially presented on 3/30/23 for the three site approaches. This included definition of costs, and explanation that costing at this Feasibility Design phase is used to compare the three approaches to help inform the Committee’s final selection
  • heard updates to the space plan based on conversations with educators and school administration.  This work has brought the space plan used as the basis for Feasibility Design costing (3/10/23) down by approximately 12,300 net square feet (4/1/23)
  • discussed MSBA space guidelines, how they are used in the public school building process, and a range of circumstances where these base guidelines are typically exceeded
  • explained where and why the most recent space plan (4/1/23) deviates from MSBA’s base space guidelines
  • described how the AHS project has followed the MSBA process, including work and key milestones in MSBA module 1 (eligibility period), Module 2 (forming the project team), and Module 3 (feasibility study)
  • compared the preliminary AHS square footage costs to those of other recent school construction projects (including 12 high schools and West Elementary School)
  • reviewed pros and cons of each of the three remaining site approaches
  • unanimously voted on a final, preferred option, with each member of the Committee explaining their rationale for choosing the “Campus 2 with New Auditorium” approach

The preliminary Total Project Cost Estimate for Campus 2 with New Auditorium is $480,847,000. The project scope will continue to be scrutinized and refined during a the upcoming Schematic Design phase, before a building proposal is priced (anticipated Fall 2023) in preparation for town votes (anticipated January 2024).

The full meeting presentation can be found here. (Note the meeting and presentation begins with review of the March 2023 community survey results. This same information was presented at the 3/30/23 meeting, but due to technical difficulties, that portion of the meeting had not been recorded last week.)

A full replay of the April 6th meeting is available in the AndoverTV video archive.