The Facility Study Committee has developed several primary paths and is seeking community feedback on these options:
A. Construction using financial resources from the town only. This option allows the town to pursue improvements to Andover High immediately, with the next step being financial approval for design funds by a vote at Town Meeting. This option would require Andover taxpayers to fund the project and would not provide any state reimbursement. However, the project could be done on the timeline and to the specifications determined by the Andover community alone.
The Facility Study Committee has worked with HMFH Architects to develop potential options for town-funded improvements. After considering eleven options, the Committee narrowed their choices to four. Following is a general summary of the four best options (still identified by their original option numbers), with significantly more detail available on the AHS Facility Study Committee website.
- Small Addition/Partial Renovation (Option 7A) – This option would partially renovate the existing building and include a small addition (23,000 sq. ft.) at the main entry. It would address safety and security issues, while increasing the number of classrooms and the cafeteria/serving area to support 1,800 students. However, it would not accommodate growth to 1,900 students. Fifty percent of classrooms would still be smaller than recommended standards; science rooms would not be updated; the Dunn Gym, Collins Center, field house and locker rooms would be untouched; and there would be no substantial improvement to climate control or mechanical systems. This option would invest $40 million into the existing building and $15 million into an addition, for a total of $55 million.
- Large Addition/Partial Renovation (Option 9A) – This option would partially renovate the existing building and include a larger addition (78,000 sq. ft.) in front of the existing cafeteria area. The new section would include a cafeteria and science classrooms, since they are the most expensive to renovate, and could potentially be the first structure moving toward a future “campus approach.” This option would address safety and security issues and increase classroom capacity to serve 1,900 students. However, it would leave 50 percent of classrooms smaller than standards dictate; the Dunn Gym, Collins Center, field house and locker rooms would be untouched; and there would be no substantial improvement to climate control or mechanical systems. This option would invest $35 million into the existing building and $48 million into an addition, for a total of $83 million.
- Large Addition/Full Renovation (Option 4) – This option would expand on Option 9A by fully renovating the existing building (including the Dunn Gym, Collins Center, field house and locker rooms), while still adding the same large addition (78,000 sq. ft.) in front of the existing cafeteria. In addition to the benefits of Option 9A as described above, Option 4 would renovate all classrooms to bring them up to MSBA standard sizes, upgrade climate control systems to modern technology, and add a new building envelope to the original building. This option would invest $91 million into the existing building and $48 million into an addition, for a total of $139 million.
- New Construction (Option 5) – This option calls for the construction of a totally new high school. It would meet the requirements outlined by the AHS Facility Study Committee for a modern school with 1,900-student capacity. The school would be built on the same campus as the current high school and West Middle, potentially in the location of the current sledding hill and baseball field next to Shawsheen Road. This option would entail an investment of $185 million.
B. Construction with MSBA Assistance (financial reimbursement from the state). The district has submitted a Statement of Interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority requesting the state to partner with Andover to improve the high school. Acceptance to this program is highly competitive, and the timeline for any potential construction is unclear and dependent on the state. We will learn in December 2018 whether Andover High has been accepted into the MSBA program.
If Andover High School is accepted into the MSBA program, the next step is a feasibility study. This study would inform the MSBA decision as to whether a new high school would be built or the current high school would be renovated/expanded.
The MSBA will only partner with a district to produce a 50-year facility solution, and it is possible that both Option 4 and Option 5 above could meet that requirement. However, with construction costs escalating an average of four to five percent each year, MSBA timelines would also increase the overall cost of these projects.
- Option 4 done with MSBA partnership is estimated to cost $147 million in total, $103 million of which would be paid by Andover (with the difference being an estimate of state reimbursement).
- Option 5 done with MSBA partnership is estimated to cost $203 million in total, $142 million of which would be paid by Andover (with the difference being an estimate of state reimbursement).
- Note: The costs of Options 4 and 5 under Section B are $8 million and $18 million higher respectively than the costs under Section A because of escalating construction costs in the more time-consuming state-assisted plan.
C. No construction. The community could decide that the expense or other downsides of pursuing improvements at Andover High are not worth the investment.