White Papers – Winchester HS Project http://winchesterhsproject.com Thu, 14 Sep 2017 20:36:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.6 Winchester High School Building Project: Phase II http://winchesterhsproject.com/winchester-high-school-building-project-phase-ii/ Wed, 18 Nov 2015 19:23:53 +0000 http://winchesterhsproject.com/?p=1631

At the start of summer 2015, construction was nearly complete in the dining commons, library, music, and administration areas. In addition, demolition work began on E and C wings with demolition of existing spaces and walls on the site’s north side. When school opened in August 2015, students and teachers were thrilled to occupy the new spaces. Classrooms in the A and B wings and modular classrooms on two sides of the building were put in use for classroom space.

Phase II: C Wing

The first of three academic wings to be renovated is C wing. After summer demolition, the wing was taken down to its original concrete structure and structural steel braces were installed. A new façade will be installed to match the materials used in Phase I. As with all academic wings, the most exciting change to the existing wing will be new, sun-filled learning spaces. Classrooms will be relocated to the exterior perimeter, where there will be an abundance of natural light. All new classrooms will include up-to-date technology and furniture.

C-Wing spaces include:

  • Technology labs
  • Art classrooms
  • Science classrooms, with labs

Phase II: E Wing

The largest wing in the school is also getting a major upgrade. Summer demolition resulted in the removal of all interior walls. Exterior facades will be re-faced with new materials. E Wing is the nerve center of the site as all electrical, heating, plumbing, and telephone/data service enter the building here.

The gymnasium area is being upgraded with new work-out spaces and restrooms. New lighting, backboards, and paint will update this space. Students will soon be able to access this area from the second floor or the school with the completion of a connector tunnel.

The new layout on the first floor of E Wing includes:

  • Athletic offices and locker rooms
  • Television studio
  • Storage areas
  • Custodial spaces

Scheduled Completion of Phase II

This second phase is scheduled to be completed at the end of the summer of 2016. We look forward to sharing this beautiful new learning space with the Winchester community!

Phase 2 Diagram

WHS Project and Phase 2 Update: Progress Report August 2015 http://winchesterhsproject.com/whs-project-and-phase-2-update-progress-report-august-2015/ Wed, 26 Aug 2015 03:39:22 +0000 http://winchesterhsproject.com/?p=1398

We are pleased to report outstanding progress on the WHS building project as we complete summer construction and prepare for the on-time opening of school on September 8, 2015. Phase 2 work began in June 2015 and will continue through August 2016.


Please join us for informal building tours on Friday, September 4, 2015 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and view the parts of the facility completed to date.

Students and faculty will enjoy major transformation this year including:

  • Permanent new main entrance and administrative wing
  • New dining commons, kitchen, and serving area
  • New library/media center, including a creative technology center and study/meeting nooks
  • New music suite, including acoustically designed spaces for chorus and band
  • Additional modular classrooms by the auditorium.

Expect crews to continue to work through Labor Day weekend to address finishing details.

Next steps

Significant structural and systems work has been completed or is underway in areas separated from classroom spaces. This work includes HVAC, electrical and sprinklers, as well as the removal of equipment from all basement spaces.

The renovated auditorium will be available for use in early fall 2015. There will be no access to the gymnasium during Phase 2, and all teams, games, and physical education classes have been relocated for this phase.

During Phase 2, the construction crew will access the site from the northwest side and remain separated from students by chain link fence or interior walls during the school year as they work in the gymnasium and C wing areas. As in Phase 1, noise levels and air quality will be carefully monitored to ensure the safety/comfort of students and staff members.

Students will enter the building through the front entrance on Skillings Road, by the auditorium, or through the A/B wing stairs. The rear entrances at the back of the school will not be open. While the Spruce Street entrance will not be available, the Nelson Street gate will be open. Student parking will be in the same parking lot as before, just beyond the baseball field. Access to the school from this lot is via Skillings Road.

We are thrilled to share this project’s progress with the community and look forward to enjoying the new learning spaces this school year. Join us for a tour and please visit www.winchesterhsproject.com for updates and information.

Robert F. Deering, on behalf of the members of the EFPBC

Winchester High School Progress http://winchesterhsproject.com/winchester-high-school-progress/ Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:05:57 +0000 http://winchesterhsproject.com/?p=1168

The High School project has achieved an important milestone:  the EFPBC has voted to approve the construction budget.  To date the project is on time and slightly under budget.

On Monday, November 17, the EFPBC voted to approve the construction cost of the project called the Gross Maximum Price (GMP).  The project budget is $129,923,146 of which the construction budget is $101,235,610.  Originally the GMP was $208,954 under our budget.  Before the project was bid to subcontractors, the committee chose to remove four line items and put them in the category of alternates.   When the GMP was below our budget the committee included all four back in the project. These alternates totaled $205,593.  With these added back the final GMP was $101,232,248 which is $3,362 below our construction budget.

In order to finalize the GMP, the EFPBC was involved in value engineering which is an exercise used to determine if there are any possible reductions available that would not compromise educational objectives.   Reductions can be from three categories:  material changes, quantity of material, and design options.  In total the EFPBC evaluated more than 90 options ranging in value individually from $312,000 to $3,500.   For example, the Committee decided to reduce the quantity of tile material on corridor walls from 6’-6’’ to 5’-0’, which reduced the cost by $147,000.

While the GMP is below our budget we remain focused on delivering the project on time, on budget.  In addition, the construction manager at risk (CM) carries a $2,500,000 GMP contingency and the town has an additional total contingency of $5,560,524.  We still have to be cautious because unexpected latent conditions might arise as construction proceeds. A ‘latent condition’ in construction is an unforeseen problem requiring attention and resolution.

The project is operating under a tight time schedule with target completion of August 2017.  The CM believes the completion date will be met.

The CM is experienced in phased construction, planning and logistics.   One of the great advantages of the CM project delivery method is the CM works directly with the design team and our project manager (OPM) during the final design and construction document phases.  In this way the CM becomes intimately involved with the project and suggests ways of reducing cost without reducing quality.  The CM at Risk approach chosen for this project mitigates risk to the town for both cost and schedule.

As we all know, the main purpose of this project was to enhance the educational experience of the students and faculty while achieving a LEED silver position.  The committee can report that every educational and sustainability objective has been respected and is in the project.  The Committee will continue to monitor the budget and make adjustments accordingly.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert F. Deering, on behalf of the EFPBC
The Members of the EFPBC:
Robert F. Deering, Chair, BOS Representative (Precinct 1)
Donald E. Cecich, Secretary (Precinct 3)
Bill McAlduff, Superintendent of Schools
Wei Han, School Committee Representative (Precinct 3)
Charles Tseckares, Architect (Precinct 3)
Geethanjali P. Mathiyalakan, Engineer (Precinct 5)
Gerald R. Nardone (Precinct 3)
Linda A. Rossetti (Precinct 2)
Brendan Driscoll (Precinct 7)
Shelly Walsh (Precinct 7)

Behind The Fence; WHS Fall 2014 From A Student’s Perspective http://winchesterhsproject.com/behind-the-fence-whs-fall-2014-from-a-students-perspective/ Mon, 25 Aug 2014 16:47:56 +0000 http://winchesterhsproject.com/?p=989

When students return to the hallways and classrooms of Winchester High school on September 3rd, they are going to enter a school much different from the one they left in June.

For starters, the library and those classrooms above the library, the auditorium, and the music wing, will be closed off. As advertised, there will be temporary classrooms for all of those that are displaced. There will be eight modular classrooms with the following classes in them; A chorus room, Excel, Learning Center 1 and 2 and special education classrooms. Also in these modulars will be the chorus and midi classes that would normally take place in the music wing. One half of the cafeteria will be a temporary library for the year and the classrooms above the former location of the library will be located in the modular classrooms which will be connected to the school via a covered walkway. The band room will be located in a new temporary space that has been constructed in E wing below the gymnasium.

At the completion of the first year of construction (August 2015) there will be a new cafeteria/kitchen (Dining Commons) where the courtyard used to be; a new media center which will be built above overlooking the Dining Commons on the second floor; a new administration and guidance center (where the music classrooms used to be); a new main entrance area; a remodeled Auditorium; and a new Music classroom suite addition located between the Auditorium and Gymnasium. this new cafeteria. Both All of these additions and renovations will be a connected part of the entire school building. page1image14296 page1image14456 page1image14616

Areas under construction this year will be off-limits for students, enforced by a wall down the center of the hallways which will limit carry-over noise as well as eliminate the possibility of dust or construction-related materials in the functioning areas of the school. This means that all academic wings will be in use, and though the hallways will be half their non- construction width, the construction should not affect the academic environment of the school. The goal is to ensure there is no interaction between construction and students. Noise and workers will be on one side and students on the other.

Parking was another big question when viewing the construction. What was formerly the teacher’s parking lot will not be in use, instead the old main student parking lot will be used as the teacher’s parking lot. The parking lot on the west side of campus along the tracks is currently holding machinery and trailers for construction. The student parking lot will now be located on Skillings Field, and it is to be an extension of the current parking (across from the Stop and Shop entrance) lot present there. It shouldn’t affect the functioning of the fields themselves, and it will have the same number of parking spots as students had last year. Students will need to obtain a WHS Student Parking Permit in order to park in the Skillings Lot. These permits will be available from the School Resource Officer beginning on the first day of school. Parking spaces in the Skillings Lot will be available on a first come-first served basis.

Sadly, school will be starting on time. The superintendent has sent out an email to confirm that school will not start late. During the year there will be no major changes that students will immediately see. Both construction managers Jim Dowd and Jim Burrows are very excited and cannot wait for the rebuilt auditorium and the new cafeteria both of which will be complete next year. Look for a fact sheet coming out that will contain more detail of what is being done to the school.

For 2014-2015 we welcome in earnest a new principal Mr. Sean Kiley and a project with enormous promise that is already underway. If all goes as planned we may hardly notice the latter.

Owen Kramer Class of 2016 

Adam Micciche Class of 2016 

High School Re-Construction Project: Ready To Go Live! http://winchesterhsproject.com/high-school-re-construction-project-ready-to-go-live/ Mon, 16 Jun 2014 18:27:51 +0000 http://winchesterhsproject.com/?p=904

After years of careful planning, overwhelming community support through a successful override vote, and intense construction preparation activity, the Winchester High School reconstruction project will begin in earnest on Thursday June 26th.  The project is scheduled to be completed in August 2017.

Construction is planned for three phases, each approximately 14 months:

Phase 1:        June 2014-August 2015

Phase 2:        June 2015-August 2016

Phase 3:        June 2016-August 2017

Here is some important information for this summer:

Project Mobilization:

Staff, students, parents and community members should see preliminary activities on the site beginning this week as some construction office trailers are arriving.

Consigli Construction, the construction management company, will begin some “grubbing and clearing” in the areas between the Gymnasium and Auditorium and between the Library and Auditorium. This preliminary work will begin the week of June 16th between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm.

On June 26th the community can expect an increased level of activity across the entire site, with the entire school site restricted to construction work only beginning July 7th.

WHS Access &Temporary Space at Lincoln School:

No staff, student or community activities are scheduled for WHS this summer. Consigli Construction will take charge of the WHS site on June 26th.

Parents who have business at WHS between June 26th and July 3rd may access the Main office at the entrance located between the A and B wing pods. Thereafter, the WHS site will not be accessible to the public for the remainder of the summer.

From July 7 until August 18, WHS administration and support staff will be relocated to temporary summer space at the Lincoln School.  Parents who have questions for summer staff or who need to register new students may do so at the temporary office location.

The main WHS telephone number will be forwarded to Lincoln.  Summer contact information for high school staff working at Lincoln will be listed on our website beginning July 7th.

Scope of Summer Construction Work:

The construction work planned for this summer will be focused on: installing the pressure injected footings (pifs) that will support the three new additions; demolition and asbestos abatement work; installing eight portable classrooms; reconfiguring  some areas inside the current building for additional “swing space;” and some site work at both the WHS and Skillings Field sites.

Summer construction work hours will generally be 7:00 am to 3:30 pm Monday through Friday.

Because extensive work is necessary this summer, neighbors should expect construction workers to be on site on Saturdays.  Saturday construction will not start prior to 8:00 am.

All construction traffic will access the site from Skillings Road; there will be no construction traffic or access to the site from neighborhoods behind WHS. All construction parking will be limited to the WHS site and accessible only from Skillings Road.

Because of the design and nature of this project, many trees (approximately 90) on the high school site must be removed, most of them this summer.  However, when the project is completed, well over two hundred trees will be planted throughout the high school grounds as part of the final landscaping design.

Beyond the Summer Work:

We will regularly communicate with staff, parents, students and the community at key milestone points in the project.  Look for a communication in August with an update on the summer work and a “look ahead” to what the school community can expect for both the opening of school in September and the fall months.

Please continue to visit this website for information and updates.

Respectfully submitted,

The WHS Project Communications Working Group










WPS: June 16, 2014

CM at Risk vs. Design-Bid-Build http://winchesterhsproject.com/cm-at-risk-vs-design-bid-build/ http://winchesterhsproject.com/cm-at-risk-vs-design-bid-build/#comments Fri, 31 Jan 2014 14:52:37 +0000 http://winchesterhsproject.com/?p=745

WHS Construction Manager to be on Board in Early February

Preparation for the start of the rebuilding of Winchester High School is well underway, as the Education Facilities Planning and Building Committee (EFPBC) has begun the important task of hiring a Construction Manager for the project.

CM-at-Risk vs. Design-Bid-Build

Construction projects typically involve three phases: planning, design and construction.

Traditionally, communities have utilized the Design-Bid-Build approach to school construction projects.  In this method, the three phases run sequentially: the architect prepares a fully detailed design for the project, construction bids are solicited based on the complete bidding documents, and the selected contractor then begins construction. The contractor has no involvement in the process until the construction stage.  The downside to this method is that the contractor does not participate in any value engineering prior to submitting a proposal or contribute to phasing discussions.  In addition, the town is typically required to use the lowest bidder, regardless of quality or reliability.

Winchester will be implementing a Construction Manager at Risk (CM-At-Risk) approach rather than the traditional Design-Bid-Build process for the rebuild of WHS.  Under the CM-at-Risk method (also known as 149A), the owner typically selects construction management company about mid-point in the design stage.  As the design progresses, the construction management team reviews the design (for “constructability”), construction scheduling, and project cost estimates and then in the construction phase serves as the project contractor.

Towards the end of the design stage, the owner and the contact manager negotiate a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) for the project. The contract manager assumes responsibility for the performance of the work, including any subcontractors’ work. The owner is responsible for the payment of work performed plus pre-agreed-upon CM-at-Risk fees up to the GMP.   Change orders resulting from scope changes and unanticipated site conditions encountered during construction may increase the final contract cost, but with smarter collaboration earlier in the design process, these costs can be better avoided. The CM-at-risk model prevents project creep and ensures that the construction manager, rather than the town, bears the burden of meeting the project scope and budget.

To date, three companies were pre-qualified to submit proposals due January 29th.  They include: Turner, Gilbane, and Consigli. Interviews are tentatively scheduled for 6pm, February 4th at the Town Hall and a contract should be awarded on February 7.

Other Activities

For much of January, project architects SMMA have been meeting with school staff to fine tune the unique space needs for each department.  The EFPBC’s sustainability subcommittee continues to develop recommendations for the project to optimize investments in energy efficiencies.

Other design topics to be explored at upcoming EFPBC meetings include: entry schemes, exterior finishing, phasing (2/26), site plan (3/5), mechanical, electric and plumbing systems (3/12) development and interior (3/19) finishes.  Residents are welcome to attend any of the Wednesday evening EFPBC meetings held at Town Hall.

Community members should look for a public meeting in late February that will include an update on the progress to date on these and other topics and will allow residents to weigh in on possible entry and exterior design schemes.

For more information about the Winchester High School Building Project, please visit the website: winchesterhsproject.com


Respectfully submitted,

Jim Burrows and Jim Dowd, Skanska Project Management

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Looking Forward To Rebuilding WHS http://winchesterhsproject.com/looking-forward-to-rebuilding-whs/ Sat, 21 Dec 2013 16:20:38 +0000 http://winchesterhsproject.com/?p=724

Fellow Winchester Residents,

On December 10, our community made a far-reaching decision:  we will rebuild our High School!

Passage of the override has secured approximately $45 million in funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  The EFPBC (Educational Facilities Planning and Building Committee) has already begun its next phase of work, which is final building design and the hiring of a construction manager.  Construction will commence as early as this summer, and we can all anticipate a completed project by September of 2017!

We should take pride in our robust voter turnout.  Among the 24 communities that held elections on December 10, Winchester was a standout, with participation breaking 50%.   Within that high turnout, the Winchester voters expressed their preference to move forward with the high school by a margin of more than two to one (68% favorable).

In the months leading up to the election, we did our best to provide information to the community about the need for the high school project.  With its vote, the community has approved an unprecedented financial investment in a facility that is a cornerstone of our community – both physically and educationally.  We believe the vote was a demonstration that our residents value a strong education system and  long-term financial decision-making, which in turn result in strong property values.

We now owe a commitment to all residents:

  • To complete the high school project on-time and on or under budget;
  • To engage the community in those decisions that remain to be made in the project’s design;
  • To inform the community of the progress of the project and its impact on students, staff and neighbors; and
  • To be good stewards of tax dollars, striving to provide excellent town services and maintain town assets with respect for the taxpayers’ wallets.

We are inspired by the community’s overwhelming support for this project.  We are eager for the next steps, and hope you join us in anticipating the exciting months ahead!


Doug Marmon, Chairman, Board of Selectmen
Bob Deering, Chairman, EFPBC
Michael Schindelman, Chairman, School Committee

WHS Renovation Decision: Are You Ready? http://winchesterhsproject.com/whs-renovation-decision-are-you-ready/ Thu, 05 Dec 2013 03:31:17 +0000 http://winchesterhsproject.com/?p=708

WHS Renovation Decision: Are You Ready?

Do you have enough information to make an informed decision about the December 10 debt exclusion override ballot question regarding Winchester High School?

Since June, we, the members of the Educational Facilities Planning and Building Committee (EFPBC), along with the Communications Working Group, have provided media articles, a robust website, and a variety of other resources to inform residents about this historic project.

The Project

The project is designed to address three critical needs for our community: an increasing enrollment; an obsolete building infrastructure; and an educational program whose needs are no longer supported by the current physical layout. The comprehensive rebuilding of WHS would address all three goals, at a cost that takes advantage of state financial aid now available.

If voters approve Winchester’s share of funding in next month’s election, the project would be completed by fall 2017 with $85.4M from Winchester and $44.5M from the state (MSBA), a project valued at $129.9M.

If the override is not approved and Winchester does not have a comprehensive solution for WHS, the Town must still address pressing and expensive repairs to the facility.

Be an Informed Voter

The WHS Project Communications Working Group, consisting of representatives of the EFPBC, School Committee, Board of Selectmen and the Superintendent of Schools and Town Manager have been engaged in providing information to prepare citizens to vote on December 10. It is not too late to learn about the project:

• Visit Winchesterhsproject.com, which provides detailed information about the project and the almost three years of analysis behind the proposed plan and design. Explore frequently asked questions, calculate the potential impact to your taxes, and read source materials filed with the MSBA.
• E-mail a question to winchesterhsquestions@gmail.com. To receive e-mail updates, send an e-mail with “contact list” in the subject line to the same address.
• See the current WHS facility first hand! Sign up for the last tour on Saturday, December 7 at 9:30 am by clicking on the “take a tour” button at winchesterhsproject.com. Or watch the video tour, also available on the web site.

Finally, please read the series of articles that have been published in the media this fall (also available at winchesterhsproject.com under Hot Topics), each addressing one aspect of the project. For instance:
• Costs; Meeting Three Goals: EFPBC member Charles Tseckares and the Communications Working Group outlined project costs and provided information regarding the financial and educational consequences if funding for the project is not approved.
• Failing Building; Phasing: School Committee Member (and architect) Chris Nixon addressed the ways in which the facility’s aging and inflexibility has rendered it obsolete – and non-compliant with seismic, disability access, fire and other building codes. EFPBC and School Committee member, Cindy Bohne detailed how the project might be phased over the three academic years of the project
• Enrollment; Educational Program: Superintendent McAlduff authored an article describing how a renovated WHS must accommodate projected enrollment of 1,313 students by 2017 – an increase of 44.8% over 2000. WHS Principal Tom Gwin and the high school leadership team wrote about how rebuilding the academic pods could create space that promotes educational values like critical thinking, creativity and effective communication.

Other articles included a description of how the project provides a more energy-efficient, sustainable building and an analysis of the process of selecting the right site for a future high school.

A Collaborative Effort

We’d like to thank the countless groups who have contributed over the past two years to make this a collaborative effort: Town Manager’s Office, Superintendent of Schools, Energy Management Committee, Sustainability Committee, Design Review Committee, Planning Board, Finance Committee, Town Meeting Members, School Parent Associations, faculty and staff of Winchester High School, Board of Selectmen and School Committee.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda A. Rossetti, on behalf of the EFPBC
The Members of the EFPBC:
Robert F. Deering, Chair, BOS Representative (Precinct 1)
Donald E. Cecich, Secretary (Precinct 3)
Bill McAlduff, Superintendent of Schools
Roger M. Hain, Finance Committee Representative (Precinct 6)
Cindy Bohne, School Committee Representative (Precinct 6)
Charles Tseckares, Architect (Precinct 3)
Geethanjali P. Mathiyalakan, Engineer (Precinct 5)
Gerald R. Nardone (Precinct 3)
Linda A. Rossetti (Precinct 2)
Brendan Driscoll (Precinct 7)
Shelly Walsh (Precinct 7)

WHS Project Meets Three Goals http://winchesterhsproject.com/whs-project-meets-three-goals/ Wed, 13 Nov 2013 03:53:07 +0000 http://winchesterhsproject.com/?p=642

WHS Project Meets Three Goals

On November 4, Town Meeting members approved by a wide margin (153 to 5) the appropriation of funds to rebuild Winchester High School (WHS), subject to the override ballot question passing on December 10.  The Board of Selectmen and School Committee both unanimously support the project and the ballot question.

The Finance Committee provided Town Meeting with its recommendation that the appropriation be approved.  Finance Committee Chair Michelle Prior stated, “The design for the high school renovation/addition addresses all identified building, space and program deficiencies in a reasonable time frame, and in a fiscally prudent manner, capitalizing on MSBA reimbursement of approximately 1/3 of the cost of the project.”

As Winchester residents consider their vote for December 10th, many may ask if Winchester’s share of $85.4M for the project is a smart investment at this time.

A rebuilt high school solves three problems, and costs $85.4M with substantial financial aid from the state.

Winchester articulated three goals for a high school project: 1) meet current standards for educational programming; 2) provide adequate space for enrollment of 1370; and 3) update/repair the facility to meet codes.

If the override is approved on December 10, the three problems are solved with a comprehensive rebuilding of WHS, to be completed by fall 2017 with a maximum cost of $129.9M — $85.4M from Winchester and $44.5M from the state (MSBA).

If the override is not approved and Winchester does not have a comprehensive solution for WHS, we must still address pressing and expensive repairs to the facility.  Moving mechanical systems out of the basement, providing moisture barriers and insulation at ground level and exterior walls, some site work for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access, and adding fire sprinklers are likely first priorities.

Beginning July 2014, certain repairs trigger new energy code requirements, such as replacing the roof, windows and exterior doors; removing hazardous materials; and making updates to electric and plumbing (MEP) and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment.

Meanwhile, the estimated 200 additional students progressing toward the high school will need classrooms and related instructional space.


Architects SMMA have analyzed what the costs might be if the Town were to address only building and minimal ADA code requirements (minimally solving enrollment pressures with portable core classrooms).  SMMA estimated construction and design contingency costs at approximately $62M, not including soft costs of approximately 20% ($12M) more.  While these estimates have not been as fully vetted as the proposed project, they provide an informed view of the cost of just immediate repairs.


With this a la carte approach, Winchester does not receive the benefits of any educational program improvements — updated science labs, technology infrastructure upgrades, special education spaces — or additional energy efficiencies.  Repairs would be spread over a longer time period (minimum of 4 years) and annual construction cost escalation of 4% would need to be anticipated.

The Town does not have sufficient funds to accomplish these repairs.  Taxpayers would be asked to pass one or more override votes to raise the necessary revenue.  MSBA assistance would be unlikely, as these short-term repairs do not address the educational goals identified for WHS, and would demand restarting a process estimated to cause at least three years’ delay.  $44.5M of approved Commonwealth funding would likely be lost.

If the override vote does not pass, town leaders would need to return to the drawing board, carefully reprioritize all needs, and, in the absence of a community-supported comprehensive solution, make the case for residents to support funding for short-term solutions to the most urgent problems.

The Board of Selectmen, School Committee, EFPBC, and State officials agree that with the proposed plan Winchester can receive long-term, and comprehensive solution that addresses all three project goals—a $129.9 million value at a cost of $85.4M.


Respectfully submitted,

The WHS Project Communications Working Group


Jennifer Wilson, Board of Selectmen

Cindy Bohne, School Committee

Bob Deering, EFPBC Chair

Richard Howard, Town Manager

William McAlduff, Superintendent of Schools

Charles Tseckares, EFPBC

Linda Rossetti, EFPBC


Rebuilding WHS for a Stronger Educational Program http://winchesterhsproject.com/rebuilding-whs-for-a-stronger-educational-program/ Mon, 28 Oct 2013 16:04:00 +0000 http://winchesterhsproject.com/?p=563

Rebuilding WHS for a Stronger Educational Program


The Winchester High School community is eager to see a reconstructed Winchester High School that will match our community commitment to educational values.  We believe in critical thinking, creativity and effective communication.  These values infuse the WHS educational program, but struggle to be realized in the current facility.

We have had great success and recognition, but we cannot assume that will continue in a facility that fails to promote the key attributes of highly successful schools:

  • Science classes should be taught in an environment that promotes inquiry and problem-based learning.  But exterior labs are completely separate, and investigation must now be scheduled rather than seamlessly incorporated into instruction.
  • Cramming sometimes 26 students into shared desks within only 500 ft2,  with nooperable windows or direct daylight, proves disruptive, difficult and depressing.  Some classes are taught in the departmental open spaces or makeshift temporary rooms.
  • Engineering and robotics courses are taught in the former auto shop, isolated from the library and academic infrastructure space, in an area with deficient technology.
  • Spaces for the performing arts should include appropriate acoustical design plus adequate ceiling height.  WHS offers neither, and music classrooms have persistent mildew and moisture issues.
  • The library-media center lacks the smaller spaces required for instructing research skills to classes and conducting collaborative work, as well as the technology resources, for students to do research and become information literate.

The renovated WHS will address each of these challenges with ten more core academic classrooms to meet growing enrollment, and expanded library, arts, dining, special education and specialist spaces.  Relocated within the current school footprint, most classrooms will have exterior operable windows that will improve lighting and provide fresh air.

We cannot predict how the use of space might change in the future as we add more students or revise programming.  The proposed rebuilt WHS is designed to be flexible with large group, small group, and typical core classrooms.  People learn in many different ways, and spaces must adapt easily to a variety of teaching styles.  Classrooms are more than just empty boxes.  Their strategic use can promote or discourage collaboration, independent study, lectures, or team-based learning.

Comfortable, moveable furniture, work surfaces with ample electrical wiring, planning spaces in classrooms for teachers, are all necessary to promote a culture of respect, collaboration and professionalism.  Every teacher’s priority is connecting with students, both one-on-one or in small and large groups.  This priority will show in redesigned teacher workspaces.

Student and staff safety are of the utmost priority to all.  The current 77 points of access to the building make monitoring difficult.  Once inside, the current maze of hallways and classrooms will be replaced by fully accessible walkways, full of dynamic events that bring people together and lead them toward new learning.

We look forward to a new WHS with green design elements infused throughout the school, improving energy consumption, lighting, temperature control and air quality.

A renovated WHS will give the community a building that reflects our high educational standards and can only serve to improve student achievement, the academic program and school climate.

Respectfully submitted,

The WHS Leadership Team
Tom Gwin, Principal
Sue Mochrie, Assistant Principal
Jerry Chapman, Assistant Principal
Tom Haver, Director of Mathematics
Judy Hession, Director of English
Mike Marchand, Director of Science
Chris Kurhajetz, Director of Social Studies
Anna Tirone, Director of Foreign Language
Mary Costello, Co-Director of Music
Jennifer Levatino, Director of Art
Suzanne Ontso, Director of Guidance
Kristine Lacey, Special Ed. Supervisor
David Petty, Lead Teacher, Technology and Engineering
Pam Saba, Director of Wellness