new library at high schoolThe two-story library is a key piece of the project. / photo by Arlington Town PIO Joan Roman

UPDATED Nov. 15: The largest and most complex of the four phases of the ongoing reconstruction of Arlington High School, phase 2, was substantially complete as of Wednesday, Nov. 8, officials said.

Public tours are expected to be scheduled early next year, after the phase's final aspect, Menotomy Preschool, is up and running in early January; the new preschool includes a separate and secure entry, age-appropriate interior classrooms and a dedicated exterior playspace, officials said. Earlier today, Arlington School Committee member Jeff Thielman told YourArlington that tours of the new wing of AHS currently are scheduled to take place between 9 a.m. and noon Saturday, Jan. 20.

View the phase 2 photo gallery and read about it on the town website.

Phase 2 features a 44-classroom humanities wing, a 600-seat cafeteria, a two-story library, forum stairs, an exterior learning courtyard, school district offices, the School Committee room and many other features, officials say. 

“It’s taken us over seven years to get to this point, and I’m thrilled to see three-quarters of the new Arlington High School facility finished,” said Jeff Thielman, chairman of the Arlington High School Building Committee, in a town news release.

“With a project of this scope and complexity, I am pleased to report that the project remains on budget and has only experienced minor schedule delays,” said Town Manager Jim Feeney. “As the project proceeds, our responsive and proactive project team continues to deliver a state-of-the-art, all-electric facility that will help Arlington meet its net-zero goals.”

As students entered the area for the first time, Principal Matthew Janger was quoted as saying,  “It’s exciting to see this team effort coming together. “We’re excited for the opportunities this new space will provide for learning and collaboration for our students.”

For a number of reasons, phase 2 took Arlington Public Schools a bit longer than expected but is well worth it. “The new high school is designed to be an active community hub, engaging and inviting multi-generational uses and programming,” Schools Superintedent Elizabeth Homan wrote Tuesday, Nov. 8, in the latest “Superintendent's Update to Families” on the APS website.

“The scope and complexity of this four-phased project is significant,” she said. “During phase 2, the AHS Building Committee and project partners faced supply-chain and weather delays, which resulted in a three-month delay in the anticipated completion of the facility.

“Phase 3 construction of the athletics wing is already underway and is expected to be complete in December 2024. The fourth and final phase of the project includes construction of two additional synthetic turf multisport fields and a Minuteman Bikeway connector and is anticipated to be completed by September 2025.”

Construction of the new high school began in November 2020 and is anticipated to last five years, according to APS spokeswoman Weslie Etienne Pierre. The project budget for the new school is $290.4M, with an estimated $84.7 million of this coming from the state. In June 2019, Arlington voters approved a debt exclusion to cover the costs of the project.  

 Project partners for the new high school include the Massachusetts School Building Authority, Owner’s Project Manager Skanska USA, designer HMFH Architects and Construction Manager Consigli USA, the town statement said.

 Those interested in tracking the continuing progress of the reconstruction may look at the project website


May 4, 2022: Estimated 3,000 view AHS wings, and many interviewed are impressed
 

This article was published Nov. 9, 2023, based on an online statement from Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Homan, a news release from Town of Arlington Public Information Officer Joan Roman and information in the longstanding Arlington High School construction blog. It was updated Nov. 11, 2023, with information on the cost/timeline from an Arlington Public Schools spokesperson, and updated again Nov. 15, 2023, with a slated tour date provided by an Arlington School Committee member.