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  • New West Bridgewater school building nearing completion

Flansburgh ArchitectsA rendering of what the finished West Bridgewater Middle-Senior High School should look like.

Facts and figures on new West Bridgewater Middle-Senior High School

  • Size of building: 141,250 square feet
  • Size of entire campus: 20 acres
  • Students building will serve: 625
  • Value of building: $49.6 million
  • Building layout: The building will be structured so that
  • grades 7 and 8 are on the first floor and grades 9-12 are on the second floor.
  • Athletic amenities: synthetic football/soccer field, field hockey overlay field, 6-lane track and baseball field.

  • The Enterprise
  • Posted Jun. 12, 2015 at 1:29 PM
  • Updated Jun 13, 2015 at 1:55 PM 

  • WEST BRIDGEWATER – As the remaining students at West Bridgewater Middle-Senior High School count down the days to summer, another countdown has commenced just next door as construction inches closer and closer to completion on the the building that will replace the current school.
  • “We are coming down the home stretch,” said Project Manager Jim Goulet, of CTA Construction. “Within the next couple weeks, we are just wrapping up a few minor things.”
  • Workers broke ground on the project in October 2013, but planning for the new school began in 2009 after the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission found several facility-related issues at the middle-senior high school during an accreditation review that they required the school district address within two years.
  • Now, Goulet said the workers are getting ready for an architect to come through with a punch-list – minor items like crooked outlet covers, nicks on walls and scuffs on paint – that will have to be taken care of before the school is ready to be opened.

West Bridgewater Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Oakley said that the substantial completion of the building is expected to take place around July 15 when workers finish the cafeteria and auditorium.

“The auditorium and cafeteria have a lot of intricate detail, and that is why they take a little longer,” Oakley said.

The administrative and central offices, gymnasium, cafeteria, auditorium, music spaces and video lab are all located next to each other on a “main street” in the building while classrooms and special education facilities are organized along a loop corridor that encloses and exterior courtyard.

There is also a STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – area, grouped around a two-story STEM commons, which provides a space for collaborative learning.

With so much of the the construction wrapping up, Oakley and other school administrators have been able to begin working on some of the other details that will go into the new school. For instance, they began picking out the colors of the furniture that will go in the new school last month.

“There is so much detail that goes into it, but it’s fun,” Oakley said, about the entire process.

Goulet added that he and his coworkers have enjoyed working on the project, particularly because of its size.

“It’s nice because it has a big footprint to work off. That is an advantage for us,” Goulet said. “Some of these sites are small and confined and you don’t have enough room to move around.”

While the future looms bright for the new building, the current West Bridgewater Middle-Senior High School is nearing the end of its days.

A celebration was held on May 2 to allow alumni to tour the building one last time before it comes down to make way for the new school.

Oakley said that the school district has to be out of the building on June 30, so that demolition can begin because the building partially sits on the site of the future parking lot that will service the new school.

Rather than using a pre-designed layout for the building, the residents of West Bridgewater came up with their own design to suite the town’s needs.

“It has its own unique feeling based on what we as a community wanted,” Oakley said. “I’m really excited because it has a collegiate atmosphere and look in the building.”

Central to the design of the building was a lot of open space and a layout, which provided flexibility to its use.

“We wanted to keep the small school feel, but have big school opportunities, and I think we achieved that,” Oakley said.