The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 10, 2005


CCHS Feasibility Study Committee Regional School Committee reviews CCHS space and renovation needs

The Concord-Carlisle High School Feasibility Study Committee presented its early findings to the Concord Carlisle Regional School Committee last week. The presentation explained the goals of the committee, the present condition of the CCHS building and the building's shortcomings in terms of space and safety.

The goals of the Feasibility Study Committee include promoting and enhancing educational excellence, maximizing community use potential, creating clear and logical building circulation and minimizing teaching disruption during the renovation or construction phase. Another goal was to create a front entrance that would be easily recognizable.

30% more space needed

Representatives of the architectural firm Symmes, Maini and McKee Associates (SMMA) have done extensive work determining space needs for each department. The current building is 228,548 square feet. By state standards based on the current student population, the school should be 304,000 square feet. Space is needed in every department, including English, mathematics, science and social studies. More space is needed for teachers, support staff and storage. Carlisle Selectman Tim Hult, a member of the Feasibility Study Committee, said, "We are 30% shy of the space we need."

Joel Seeley of SMMA, mentioned that the NEASC, which grants accreditation to schools, noted concerns about the facility in its report last year, such as inadequate ventilation and inadequate classroom size. The current utilization rate is 90-95%. The state recommends an 85% utilization rate.

Replacements needed

Seeley said the building has been well maintained. A 1992 renovation replaced 40% of the single pane windows and 30% of the roof. He is recommending replacing the rest of the single pane windows and the 30-year-old roof. Seeley added "There are numerous safety and security issues. Some doors do not close properly. Ramps do not meet code. Fixtures in the bathrooms are original and should be replaced. Piping is also original and should be replaced." He added that gas is piped through an underground loop outside the science area. It should be replaced. "The electrical system is mostly original. It has insufficient branch circuit capacity. The majority of the lighting is limited and replacement is recommended. The intercom system is an "all call" system. There is no two-way communication. Phones are limited to the administrative offices. There is no security system and no lightning protection," Seeley continued.

Seeley then presented a review of the outside of the building. The site area is 95.6 acres, of that 54.9 acres are available for construction. That includes the area used by the present building. He stated that the pavement is old, the outside lighting is inadequate and the lower fields are in good condition. There are many accessibility issues. In front of many doors there is a single step.

Plan to explore 3 scenarios

In the next four weeks, the consultants from SMMA will develop plans for three scenarios: a renovation, a renovation and additions and new construction. They will present conceptual costs. The Feasibility Study Committee will select their preferred options.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito