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School Building Committee lays out next steps for high school project

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  With the Wonderland site selected as the home of a new Revere High School, one of the next big milestones for the project will be the selection of a construction manager. During the Revere High School Building Committee meeting on Thursday, March 17, the design team updated the committee on next steps for the project. The two-step process to choose a construction manager at risk for the project includes prequalifying contractors capable of handling the job, and then putting out a request for proposals for the qualified firms to bid on.

  There should be a recommendation for the construction manager to the school building committee by the middle of May, according to Brian Dakin of Leftfield, the owner’s project manager for the high school project. “At that point, we will have a contractor on board to help us with the rest of schematic design and preconstruction estimating,” said Dakin.

  Dakin said he estimates the cost of the construction manager for this early design phase will come in at around $25,000 to $30,000.

  In addition to securing the construction manager, the Revere High School Building Committee is in the process of setting up working groups to focus on building plans and issues, such as the school site layout, exterior and interior construction, and sustainability.

  “In terms of the site, we want to get all the questions and concerns that are out there on the table, and then we can come up with an action plan to answer them,” said Daniel Colli, project manager from architect Perkins Eastman.

  The working groups will be made up of current members of the Revere High School Building Committee. In April and early May, the design team will also be meeting with user groups of teachers and other high school staff members to talk about the nuts and bolts of how the school works. This round of meetings with teachers and staff will focus on where space for different programs and areas should be in the building, while future meetings will narrow down the focus to specifics of the rooms and systems needed for the school.

  The preliminary designs for the school show a four-story classroom wing with a “heart of the school” concept of an auditorium, gym and cafeteria that can also be used as public community space. The grounds include a new baseball field and a multi-use field, as well as outdoor classroom and teaching space, and a health and wellness path that circles the site. Designers stated they are also looking at ways to connect that path in the future to the proposed commuter rail station at Wonderland.

  Funding to build the new high school is expected to be paid for primarily through new growth revenues in the city, especially at the Suffolk Downs mixed-use development. The initial estimates for the total cost of the Wonderland construction have been tagged at just under $400 million, with about $150 million being covered by a Massachusetts School Building Authority grant.

  If all goes according to schedule, the new high school would be open for students in the summer of 2026.

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