AHS senior signs steel beam in February 2021.

Masked Arlington High School seniors greeted one another with smiles Feb. 24 and 25. Many had not seen one another in more than a year and were eager to see their peers and mark their final year at AHS.

The occasion? A special invitation to the AHS class of 2021 to sign a construction beam, which is to be permanently placed in the new high school. On March 12, the 30-foot steel beam is expected to be one of the last placed in the new performing-arts wing at Mass. Ave. and Schouler Court, marking the “topping off” of Phase 1 of the multiyear construction project.

As the end of their high school career comes to a close, students took selfies in front of the signed beam and a special ‘AHS 2EN1ORS’ banner (That creative spelling is correct). At left, a senior leaves his signature for posterity.

More photos here >>

The event was a coordinated effort between the AHS Building Committee and AHS staff. Some students reflected on what their signature represents and what they would like to say to future AHS students.

“My signature means: In times of adversity we, the class of 2021 have found a way to leave our mark on this school. Our signatures will forever be placed on this beam and be a symbol of strength because we were still able to create a strong foundation for our future through these tough times.”

– Vivian Ruiz


“My signature holds a mark of the time I spent at AHS. The friends that I made, the teachers I had, the memories and the experience. It will represent my accomplishment of graduation, and the lessons I learned. It will stand as a sign to future classes that we can all make it through.”

Vincent Rudolph


“I am the last of my family to attend AHS. My signature is here to inspire you to make your own legacy. The future’s yours.”

-- Sabine Garrahan


The class of 333 students has not been together since schools closed on March 13, 2020, because of to Covid-19. The vast majority of AHS learning has been remote ever since.

It’s been a long year for these students as they have had to navigate the end of their junior year and all of senior year remotely. Only this past week, did AHS move to a semihybrid model where students return to campus for a few hours per week.

The Performing arts and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) wings of the new school expect to be open next February.

The new school is being built in phases on the site of the existing school and is expected to be completed in 2024 (followed by one additional year of site work).

The project remains on schedule and on budget,with project partners HMFH Architects, Skanska USA, the owner’s project manager; and Consigli Construction, the construction manager.

For more information, visit www.ahsbuilding.org

February 2020 to present: Construction update for new AHS

Dec. 20, 2019: $24.7M in cuts bring budget for rebuilt AHS into line
Nov. 22, 2019: Estimate for new AHS design shows $29.5M gap
Feb. 6, 2019: Official vote backs cost of rebuilt AHS at $291.4M 

This news feature was was published Wednesday, March 3, 2021. The writer is Amy Speare, an AHS parent who also provided the photos.