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Photos: A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

After breaking ground in 2018, construction of the new Saugus Middle/High School has been completed.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

PMA Consultants Managing Director Kevin L. Nigro leads a tour group through the main entrance of the new Saugus Middle/High School

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

Greeting students and faculty as they walk through the high school’s front doors is a large main staircase (the ‘Forum Stair’), built to serve as both a walkway and seating area where students can enjoy their lunch period or simply hang out with friends. The wing’s wide-open entryway bleeds into cafeteria space to provide adjustable functionality for after-school events, while its polished concrete floors are durable and meant to withstand years of steady use. “Once you build a beautiful school, one of the biggest burdens on cities and towns is how you maintain it,” Nigro said. “We talked about value management, and a lot of discussion went into ‘what is the floor material? What is the wall material? How long will it last? Is it durable?’ “It’s all meant for long-term viability.”

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

One of several centrally located educational spaces, the school’s 750-seat auditorium (and accompanying black box) was constructed to mimic a professional theater, providing students with high-end equipment and manual rigging that will help prepare them for successful careers in the performing arts. Keeping academics in mind, chairs in the first five rows have also been fitted with folding desk tops that allow teachers to turn the space into a makeshift lecture hall when needed. “When the kids leave here, they’re ready to go to Broadway and college,” said HMFH Principal Architect Tina Stanislaski.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

The new Saugus Middle/High School will feature an alternate performing arts room.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

A floating floor in both the gymnasium and weight room soundproof the building’s noisier locations and is meant to be easier on the joints of young athletes who train for long hours each day. “It’s wood, but below it is a sub-floor that’s on little rubber chairs,” Nigro explained. “It doesn’t go all the way to the wall. It’s a vented base so you won’t feel it, but it technically flexes and is better on hips and knees.” The weight room specifically is equipped with special machines that can be used by students with less physical mobility, while adjustable lights in certain classrooms and shared spaces throughout the school allow educators to adjust a room’s temperature throughout the day to be most conducive to student learning. “There was a conscious effort to integrate (special needs) into everything,” Nigro added.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

A tour group makes their way through the fitness center of the new school.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

Many classrooms, such as this science lab in the new high school, feature modular doors which can be opened to create a varying workspace for students.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

For ease of use, all wings have been color-coded: green for high school, blue for middle school, and red for shared spaces. Arranged by grade — one per floor — the new school has centralized collaborative spaces designed to facilitate project-based learning, while some classrooms have been equipped with movable glass walls that allow educators to adjust spaces accordingly. Utilizing natural light also played a large role in the building’s design, with some classroom ceilings subtly sloping from the exterior wall to the interior wall to allow as much daylight to enter the rooms as possible. This setup conserves electricity through daylight dimming controls that automatically lower light fixture output levels when there is sufficient natural light in a space. “Natural daylight fosters a better educational environment,” Nigro said.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

Special Ed teacher Christa Corricelli learns the ins and outs of the Smart Panel in her classroom at the new Saugus Middle/High School.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

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Former Saugus School Committee member Jeannie Meredith tries one of the touchless sinks at the new Saugus Middle/High School. Meredith

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

A tour group looks at the green space atop the roof of the new middle/high school. Designed to incorporate a number of eco-friendly features that are easier on both the planet and on the district’s wallet, the new school will receive third-party certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system and is anticipated to meet their Gold level certification. Automatic sinks, water bottle refill stations, and a state-of-the-art water filtration system is meant to reduce the building’s water consumption by over 495,000 gallons per year, while a vegetated green roof on the third floor helps to slow the rate of stormwater runoff, lowers temperatures to reduce the heat island effect, and protects the roofing membrane from UV exposure, extending its overall lifespan.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

A tour group looks at a mural about the history of the ice industry in Saugus on a wall of the new school. | Stanislaski said Saugus history played heavily into the building’s design. While the high school’s science pod utilizes a green theme revolving around the town’s well-known ironworks history, the middle school’s science pod celebrates Saugus’ successful water industries, implementing a cool blue color scheme with informational graphics along the walls. “When we design schools, we usually try to use color (coding) so students feel like they can understand where they are in the building, and Scott (Crabtree) was always pushing us to bring that to the next level,” Stanislaski said.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

The media room of the new Saugus MIddle/High School.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

A tour group makes their way through a hallway where a historical map of Saugus can be seen in the new Middle/High School.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

A mural of the history of the Saugus Iron Works displayed on the wall of the new Middle/High School.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

Inspirational quotes line one of the walls in the new Saugus Middle/High School.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

The cafeterias of the new Saugus Middle/High School are set up by HMFH Architects, Inc.'s Colin Dockrill.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

A maintenance worker cleans the floor in front of a mural of Montowampate, the Sachem of Saugus, in the new Saugus Middle/High School.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)

A look inside the new Saugus Middle/High School

A tour group makes their way through the locker rooms of the new school.

(Photo by Spenser Hasak)
Although Saugus’ impressive new middle-high school currently sits empty of students thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, such a setback hasn’t dimmed enthusiasm for the town’s five-year passion project, which was finally completed earlier this year.  During a building tour with local officials Friday, PMA Consultants Project Manager Kevin Nigro — whose construction company was hired…

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