WEST NEWBURY – Superintendent Justin Bartholomew and the Pentucket Regional School District are pleased update the community on the pending opening of the Pentucket Regional Middle-High School.
The new $146.3 million building will open to students on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
The 211,700-square-foot facility will house about 970 students on opening day. Building capacity is about 1,250 students.
A two-story wing will house students in Grades 7 and 8. A separate three-story wing will house students in Grades 9-12. The two wings will be joined by a large foyer and dining commons.
Key features of the school include:
- A state-of-the-art HVAC system and solar roof panels. It is estimated these measures will save $2 million in energy costs during the next 20 years, by reducing the building’s energy footprint and lessening carbon emissions. The new school is on path to received the coveted LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold designation.
- A 610-seat Performing Arts Center. The Center will support the District’s award-winning arts and music programs, and serve as a gathering place for community programs and activities. The building also will include a drama studio to allow for smaller group work and performances.
- Flexible spaces. Chair and table designs vary, so teachers have limitless design options to allow them to maximize educational options.
- Teacher planning spaces. Each floor has dedicated space for that grade’s teachers, allowing teachers to plan across disciplines.
- Dedicated student entrance. Students will be dropped off at the rear of the building, via a bus-only access road. From there, students will walk through the arts wing to their class area.
- Day lockers. Each floor has a small number of lockers that students may use for the day, and program in their own passcode. This removes lockers from the main hallways, improving access and student flow.
- Breakout areas. Each grade area has an open area that will facilitate small-group work by students, either independently or with teacher support.
The new combined building replaces the current middle school, which opened in 1967, and the high school, which opened in 1958. Construction was approved with overwhelming support in the sending communities of Groveland, Merrimac, and West Newbury.
“We now have a building that will provide the best possible education for future generations of Pentucket students,” Superintendent Bartholomew said. “This would not have been possible without the years of work by the School Building Committee, or the incredible support of our school community. I hope they are proud of the final result.”
The new school was designed by Dore and Whittier. Vertex served as owner’s project manager, and W.T. Rich served as construction manager.
The old High School has been demolished, while the old Middle School is in the process of removal. Turf field construction is ongoing.
The District plans a formal dedication ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 14, from 4-6 p.m. More information on the ceremony will be shared when available.