Architects unveil virtual tour of new East Providence High School

Anticipation levels grow as future facility takes shape

By Mike Rego
Posted 11/13/19

EAST PROVIDENCE — Anticipation levels for the new East Providence High School likely rose a few notches after the building’s architects presented a multi-dimensional virtual video of the …

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Architects unveil virtual tour of new East Providence High School

Anticipation levels grow as future facility takes shape

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — Anticipation levels for the new East Providence High School likely rose a few notches after the building’s architects presented a multi-dimensional virtual video of the proposed final product during the November 12 meeting of the School Committee at City Hall.

Jim Jordan, representing the architectural firm Ai3, introduced the 15-minute clip, which included a flyover of the exterior grounds and a walk-through illustration of the interior.

The revered clocktower on the existing site will serve as the focal point of the new EPHS entryway, leading to a roundabout just in front of the main entrance. Offshoots on either side of the building direct traffic to the rear where a new sports stadium, including a competition level running track, is situated.

See the visual tour video of the new East Providence High School.

The north side of the new EPHS, at the current site of the tennis courts and softball field, is anchored by the 700-seat gymnasium/fitness center while the south side, now student parking and the old pool area, is moored by the 900-seat auditorium.

Both ends of the new EPHS will also house most of the Career and Technical Center spaces, while the center of the structure is for general educational curriculum, including some 10 new Science labs. The middle of the first floor, entered through the main foyer, is where the student commons/cafeteria will be housed.

“We received a lot of information from faculty, staff and district leaders to really make this a really fantastic response to not only the educational program but also your space summary,” Mr. Jordan told the committee at the conclusion of the video.”

Mr. Jordan added, "RIDE (Rhode Island Department of Education) has been very open and receptive to all of the work done so far by all parties.”

Prior to Mr. Jordan’s presentation Sam Bradner, of the Peregrine Group that serves as the district’s project manager, led the committee through an update of the financial, design and constructional elements. He said the design of the new EPHS met the 75 percent completion threshold set by RIDE, which was due last month. Mr. Bradner continued, saying it remained on track to hit the 100 percent done deadline in about a month’s time of mid-December. Key was the square footage of the four-story structure, approximately 305,000, hasn’t and will not change.

He posited the financial component as “really good news,” telling the board the current design cost of the physical structure was approximately $160 million, still a bit more than the targeted cost of $157.2 million.
“The trend is always going down,” Mr. Bradner said, noting the initial design cost came in at $202 million, was trimmed to about $166 million at the second stage of process some three months ago, then to the current $2.8 million overrun.

He added of where the financials are at the moment for the project, “You could argue that doesn’t happen that often at this step.”

Like he did during previous updates, Mr. Bradner mentioned parts of the design for a greenhouse on the south side of the school and lighting and artificial turf at the athletic fields to be placed in the front of the new EPHS remained as “alternatives,” but are going to be included in the last proposal presented to RIDE next month.
“The goal at the end of the day is for those things to be in the final plan,” Mr. Bradner said, adding they are termed as alternatives to serve as a “relief valve” in case reductions need to be made to remain within the overall $189.5 million budget voters approved for the project at the November 2018 election.

Of the project as a whole at this stage, Mr. Bradnew said, “We’re above average based on where we started out at the beginning.” He continued, “The best thing about it is the square footage remained the same throughout process.”

Messrs. Bradner and Jordan, responding to questions from the committee, said the actual construction of the building has exceeded the scheduled timeframe as contractors Gilbane attempt to finish work on the foundational aspects prior to the onset of winter.

They anticipate the steel skeleton of the building to begin being erected in February of next year, Mr. Jordan saying a “tremendous amount of activity middle of the winter on” is expected at that point.

The new EPHS has a targeted completition date for the start of classes in August/September 2021.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.