At a virtual community meeting last Thursday night representatives from Perkins Eastman have narrowed down site options for building of a new Revere High School to three potential sites in the city.
At the meeting Robert Bell and Dawn Guarriello from Perkins Eastman, the architecture firm chosen by the city to work on creating a new high school in the city, showed three site options that included the existing RHS site, the Revere Housing Authority site on Cushman Avenue, and Wonderland.
Each site option had different design ideas that were presented to the community.
There have been six sites throughout the city that have been put forth for consideration. One site was eliminated earlier on and sites formerly considered on Squire Road and the Caddy Farms site in North Revere were also eliminated.
Since the process began of picking a site, residents have favored the existing RHS site for a new high school followed by the Revere Housing Authority site and the Wonderland site third.
“We need one solution and the School Building Committee will be helping us make this decision with input from the community and the educators,” said Bell, who added that there are around 11 design options split between the three sites. “We really want to take the options from 11 down to that one preferred solution and the last phase of schematic design. When we take that one solution we will develop it in much more detail so that we can put a real cost to it, or a real budget, and seek approvals. This is a goals driven process. This is important because we want to create a community and a culture, and we want a space where everything comes together, and the community has access to rich programs and spaces. So that leads right into extended use for the school, and for the community, making this a building for all.”
Guarriello through several community meetings the three sites made the cut into the preferred schematic design, with multiple options for each site.
“All of these options aim to achieve the visioning aspects (of the community) and those include a heart of the school that is a very vibrant space with all the connections to program and community spaces, classroom, neighborhoods, as well as connections to landscape,” said Guarriello.
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.
The second scenario would be to build two new four story classroom buildings over the existing baseball field.
This new option said Guarriello would be similar to the first option.
“It allows us to take down the west side of the building,” she said. “We basically would have all new construction north and east of the field house and then once the existing building is demolished we would rebuild the multipurpose field along Route 60 with some added tennis courts.”
The difference between the two options is the first would see no additional renovation or enhancements to the current field until the project was complete.
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.”
The options presented at the other two sites at the Revere Housing Authority site and Wonderland, which are lagging in community polls as preferred options, mirrored some of the same design ideas and feel as keeping RHS on the current site.