Updates from 8/24/2023 Building Committee Meeting

The Andover High School Building Committee Meeting met on 8/24/23 beginning at 6:30 PM. Meeting highlights are summarized below:

Skate Park

The meeting began with an update from Andrew Flanagan, Town Manager, and AHS Building Committee Member on the proposed skate park. Mr. Flanagan noted that the Town has decided to exclude a skate park from the Andover High School Project and will be investigating the feasibility of constructing a new skate park elsewhere in Town.

Following this, the Committee unanimously voted to remove the skate park from the project with the understanding that the Town will explore alternate site locations. The cost of the skate park (~$4,7010,00) was not included within the preliminary Feasibility Study cost information presented in late March / early April 2023, and therefore, this decision to exclude this scope from the project does not impact the project budget.

Sports Lighting

Next, the Committee heard from Wayne Puglisi, Andover’s Athletic Director, on the value of adding sports lighting to the project. Mr. Puglisi shared a draft Fall sports schedule overviewing the available practice/game timeslots for the proposed site design assuming that the plateau field is lit.

Mr. Puglisi noted that adding sports lighting to just the plateau field would allow for all teams to practice on site during the Fall season (AHS’ busiest sports season), and that lighting additional fields would increase the number of available timeslots.

Currently, some teams are forced to practice off campus due to the limited number of available timeslots in the Fall. After multiple AHS Building Committee meetings and Community Forums seeking feedback from the community and Town staff on sports lighting, the Committee voted to remove sports lighting at the multipurpose field, baseball field, and softball field from the project; however, kept sports lighting at the plateau field open for further consideration.

Site Circulation

Following the discussions on the skate park and sports lighting, the design team focused the presentation on traffic circulation, parking, building massing/layout, and preliminary interior floor plans. The landscape architect, Arcadis Architects, reviewed the design principles to reduce traffic congestion which included the following:

  • Place parking at the perimeter
  • Provide two zones for arrival and dismissal
  • Separate bus and car queuing
  • Maximize queuing and circulation options
  • Minimize need for enforcement
  • Prioritize student pedestrian experience

Arcadis then reviewed various traffic configurations for buses and cars in the morning and in the afternoon for both the High School and West Middle School. Arcadis noted that the configuration/options presented are preliminary and are subject to change as the design team seeks feedback from the Committee, Town staff, and the community. The preliminary traffic designs are included within slides 10-20 of the 8/24/23 AHS Building Committee presentation.

Building Massing

The design team then shifted focus to building massing and preliminary interior floor plans, which is a continued discussion from the 7/27/23 AHS Building Committee meeting.

HMFH Architects presented 4 preliminary building massing models along with initial interior floor plans showing different space configurations for each option (click each picture to enlarge):

The Committee, project team, and community reviewed the physical building models for each option and discussed the various advantages and disadvantages of each. HMFH Architects will look for the Committee to decide on a building massing model in the coming weeks to allow for further refinement of the building design and development of the Schematic Design pricing documents.

Feedback Encouraged

The public is encouraged to provide feedback on these massing models and any other aspect of the project by emailing andoverhighbuildingproject@andoverma.us. We look forward to your feedback!

The full meeting presentation can be found here. To watch a replay of the meeting, you can find the AndoverTV recording in their meeting archive.