The new Natick High School, designed in a Greek Revival style with focus on the Tuscan Order, is inspired by a handful of historic buildings that serve as icons within the Natick Town Center. The innovative high school program offers students diverse programs and support spaces. An alternative high school program, Northstar, was designed into the new high school. A pre-kindergarten and childhood development program along with many other support spaces are also incorporated into the new school. Before the days of Doug Flutie playing football at Natick High School, Natick was known for its competitive and thriving athletics programs. The school features a double gymnasium, wrestling area, three-lane indoor walking track, and state-of-the-art two-story fitness center and training areas. Natick High School is located within a very dense residential neighborhood bounded on one side by neighborhood abutters and on the opposite side by Dug Pond. The school is a true community facility offering residents the use of walking trails and paths at the edge of Dug Pond, views to Dug Pond Beach, and new tennis courts.
The project involved the construction of the new school within a very limited site area, while leaving the existing high school in place and fully occupied by students and staff. It required a detailed phasing plan that included selective demolition of portions of the existing high school building in multiple phases to strategically accomplish continued construction of the new high school. The limited site area required Ai3 to coordinate with the town to establish satellite areas for construction parking, excavation stockpiling, and materials staging.
The completed facility is an innovative 21st Century learning environment where students can participate in hands-on activities that promote an understanding of the relationship between academics and practical science and technology. The new high school achieved LEED Gold status, setting a very high standard for “green” and sustainable excellence.
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