Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical High School
Lexington, Mass.
Award of Merit

Owner: Minuteman Regional Vocational Technical School District
Lead Design Firm: Kaestle Boos Associates Inc.
Construction Manager: Gilbane Building Co. 
Civil Engineer: Samiotes Consultants Inc.
Structural Engineer: Odeh Engineer
MEP Engineer: BVH Integrated Services P.C.
Subcontractors: General Mechanical Contractors (HVAC); Central Ceilings (General Trades and Ceilings); General Woodworking (Millwork); Newtech Inc. (Millwork); CJM Services (Resilient Flooring); AKAL Engineering Inc. (Plumbing and Fire Protection)

Located adjacent to an existing high school, the 257,000-sq-ft facility offers more than 600 students a variety of career and vocational technical programs. The building is divided in two major sections: One wing houses programs for engineering, construction and trades, while a second wing provides training in life sciences and services. Connecting the two wings is the student union—a naturally lit, open-air atrium, complete with outdoor courtyard, where students from various learning tracks can collaborate.

Coordinated preconstruction resulted in separate crews working inward from both ends of the elongated structure, which shortened the schedule by a year. Modeling using virtual design and construction helped address challenges such as routing underground utilities and determining viable wall penetrations for masonry bond beams. Timber-span access bridges safeguard a large adjacent wetlands area, while 30,000 cu yd of blasted and crushed bedrock were reused as fill. One giant boulder was preserved for incorporation into the site landscaping.

Students enrolled in the building trades pathway enjoyed a valuable learning opportunity during the $120-million project because their curriculum directly correlated to activities unfolding outside their classrooms. Contractor VDC teams introduced students to the intricate boiler room system, while horticulture and plant sciences students used mock-ups of a rock wall to analyze cost factors such as shipping, stone size and labor.

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