At an online community meeting last Wednesday representatives from Perkins Eastman presented several site options for a new Revere High School (RHS).
At the meeting the architecture firm chosen by the city to work on creating a new high school showed four site options that included the existing RHS site, the Revere Housing Authority site on Cushman Avenue, the site of the former Wonderland Dog Track and Furlong Drive at Suffolk Downs.
Perkins and Eastman’s Dawn Guarriello gave both the positives and negatives of each site and then polled the audience on which site was preferred.
According to the poll taken at the meeting, residents favored the existing RHS site for a new high school followed by the Revere Housing Authority site, Wonderland third and Furlong Drive finishing a distant fourth.
“We pretty much looked at anything in the city that’s 10 plus acres that could be developed and put it on the table for discussion,” said Guarriello. “The (High School Building) site subcommittee has been tasked with studying all of these sites and ranking them on a set of criteria. The criteria will include ownership of the property, the size of the property and what will fit, what’s nearby, whether it’s walkable and accessible to transit, proximity to the stadiums and other fields that are currently used, topography and soil conditions will be considered as well as resiliency and sustainability to flooding. We’ll also look at the educational impact, health, safety and community impacts, traffic impacts and of course costs,”
Guarriello said the subcommittee’s goal is to recommend to the building committee an elimination of some sites while leaving the top few to be studied through the duration of the feasibility study. The subcommittee will then make a final selection later this fall and bring forward a schematic design of a site.
There have been six sites throughout the city that have been put forth for consideration with two already being eliminated according to Guarriello. The two eliminated were sites on Squire Road and the Caddy Farms site in North Revere.
“These sites were recommended to be removed from consideration by the subcommittee,” said Guarriello.
The existing high school shined as the preferred site for a new high school because it is centrally located.
“It’s quite walkable. It’s not that far from public transportation, and is quite accessible to all throughout the city,” said Guarriello. “The downside of this site might be the fact that it’s tight and shares space with another existing school and current fields.”
Guarriello showed two scenarios on the existing site. The first scenario presented was to renovate the existing high school, build a new classroom wing to the east over the existing parking lot, renovate the large gymnasium, the kitchen, dining hall and then build a new auditorium. This would be done in phases with the last phase calling for demolishing the school street side of the existing building and building a new entryway.
The downside of the addition and renovation is the duration of construction.
“It could be quite a long construction process,” said Guarriello.
However, building an all new building would most likely be the best option for the site. A new high school would be erected on the existing fields and then once that building is complete the current high school would be torn down and the fields replicated on the site of the former high school.
“There would be no educational impact and the students would continue to learn in the existing high school building as it stands,” said Guarriello. “Once the new building is complete, we would tear down the existing high school building and then replicate the fields where that building currently exists.”