Gaithersburg Mayor, City Council Members, and School Administrators Tour Gaithersburg High School Campus Construction Site
Gaithersburg, Maryland – Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney Katz and City Councilmembers Jud Ashman and Cathy Drzygula were joined by a cadre of city officials and school leaders yesterday as they donned hard hats to tour the construction site for the new Gaithersburg High School campus. Joining the elected officials were Gaithersburg City Manager Tony Tomasello, Gaithersburg’s Director of Economic Development Tom Lonergan, Montgomery County Public Schools’ Director of Construction Craig Shuman, and Gaithersburg High School Principal Christine Handy-Collins. Project leaders from Gaithersburg-based HESS, the construction manager for the project, guided the group through the expansive 420,000 square-foot facility, which is scheduled to open to students for the 2013-2014 school year.
The $93 million project includes the renovation of the existing 1,000-seat auditorium, a third-floor addition to the 2005 Arts addition, and the replacement of the original 1950s school building on the existing 40-acre site. The new school was designed by Samaha Associates, P.C. to encourage a flexible approach that accommodates changing educational programs, while maintaining an efficient and cost-effective use of space.
Featuring a variety of amenities, the three-level school includes science laboratories, horticultural education and greenhouse spaces, an automotive repair and body shop, technology lab, cosmetology suite, two interior courtyards, ROTC facilities, and a wellness center. The 16,000 square-foot gymnasium design includes two full-size basketball courts, two volleyball courts, twelve badminton courts, and additional support areas including wrestling, dance, weight training and team meeting rooms. Core support spaces will be available to the community for use during non-school hours.
Modernization of the outdoor athletic spaces include new softball and baseball fields, four basketball courts, eight tennis courts, and an adaptive play area and synthetic turf football field. A ticket booth plaza, concession stands, restrooms, press-box, and grandstand will replace the existing facilities serving the football stadium. Accessibility for persons with disabilities will be provided to all of the courts and fields throughout the site.
Energy-saving features can be found throughout the facility and include an extensive green roof, a geothermal well HVAC system, enhanced commissioning, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, occupancy sensor controlled lighting, and the use of recycled materials, certified wood products and materials that emit lower volatile organic compounds. Although originally designed to achieve LEED Silver, the project team is currently working towards LEED Gold certification.
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HESS manages the planning, design, and construction of learning institutions including colleges and universities, K-12 schools, libraries, training centers, fine arts spaces, athletic facilities and laboratories.