What has the Andover High School Facility Study Committee been doing? Are there any significant findings from the Andover High School feasibility study?

The Committee’s goals are to explore options for building improvements in five interrelated areas: 

  1. Safety and security (code upgrades, supervision, security system)
  2. Overcrowding (classroom and cafeteria space for current and future enrollment)
  3. Educational delivery (instructional space, teacher planning, flexibility/adaptability)
  4. Physical environment (temperature control, ventilation, acoustics, lighting)
  5. Site (traffic flow and parking, emergency access, field improvements)

During more than 40 community and public meetings, including weekly meetings with the architects, 11 options have been considered ranging from $7 million worth of safety and security upgrades to over $200 million for a new school building.

The preliminary feasibility study has not found an option that addresses both the educational delivery and the physical environment of the building for less than $100 million. No previous study had indicated the extent of work required to improve building comfort. Significant energy and comfort improvements are only possible if both the mechanical systems and a portion of the building exterior envelope are replaced, which would cost upward of $40 million.

The Facility Study Committee is now seeking feedback from the community to consider the pros and cons of various approaches and to understand what the community views as a responsible level of investment in the existing building.

[1] Significant data and presentation material can be found on the Andover High School Facility Study Committee webpage: http://www.aps1.net/1932/Data-and-Presentations

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1. What has the Andover High School Facility Study Committee been doing? Are there any significant findings from the Andover High School feasibility study?
2. What are the major deficiencies of the Andover High School facility? What current educational standards are not being met?
3. Why is the temperature within Andover High often uncomfortable in winter and summer? What are the major contributing factors?
4. What future enrollment projections is the School Committee using or planning to use to ensure the High School project meets projected future needs?
5. Didn’t Andover recently renovate the high school?
6. Can the state help with Andover’s school facility needs? Has Andover sought this assistance?
7. Why did the district decide to ask for MSBA help for Andover High in April 2018?
8. What are the primary options being considered for Andover High construction?
9. What are the factors to consider in the decision between an addition plus renovation versus new construction?
10. Is “do nothing” an option being considered for Andover High?
11. How can a renovated or new facility provide a better and more current instructional program for students?
12. Why will the MSBA decision in December be a critical milestone for the Andover High project?
13. When will improvements to Andover High begin? When will improvements be complete?
14. Which other Massachusetts communities have undertaken major projects to improve their high schools?
15. Why are multiple schools being considered for renovation or reconstruction at the same time?
16. Why did the district ask the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for help with West Elementary, rather than Andover High, in April 2017?
17. What are the pros and cons of participating in the MSBA program and of building without MSBA partnership?
18. What paths are being taken to address both AHS and West Elementary?
19. When will improvements to West Elementary begin? When will improvements be complete?
20. How are Andover buildings being maintained?
21. Will Andover High continue to be maintained while we are going through this process?
22. How does the town pay for facility construction projects?
23. What is Andover’s track record for past school construction being on or under budget?
24. What is the potential impact of school construction projects on my taxes?
25. I have no children who attend Andover Public Schools. How will this project benefit me and the community?
26. Are any other high-priority school facilities being considered for improvement?
27. What public input has occurred to date? How can the public be engaged in this process?
28. Who will make the decision about which building project(s) to pursue?
29. How accurate are the cost estimates?