The City of Lowell submitted a successful statement of interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority for Lowell High School in April 2014. Since that time, the City has progressed to Module IV of the process, otherwise known as the Schematic Design Stage. The City hired the Owner's Project Manager, Skanska USA Building, Inc., in April 2016. The Architect, Perkins Eastman, was hired in July 2016.
During the Feasibility Study, the district and its team of OPM Skanska and designer Perkins Eastman collaborated with the MSBA to generate an initial space summary, document existing conditions, establish design parameters, develop and evaluate alternatives, and recommend the most cost effective and educationally appropriate solution to the MSBA Board of Directors. The Feasibility Study is broken into two parts the Preliminary Design Program (PDP). The PDP submission was made to the MSBA in February 2017. The preferred option voted on in June 2017 has been changed to a downtown option per City Council vote. The revised PSR is currently underway targeting a submission to the MSBA in August 2018 with a push to meet June 2018 MSBA Board of Directors meeting.
On February 2, 2018 the MSBA hosted a working meeting with City of Lowell elected officials and representatives to discuss options to be investigated, pool, schedule, feasibility study budget and communication plan between the MSBA and the City. The MSBA gave a definitive answer that a pool is not reimbursable under their program.
The School Building Committee (SBC) held a meeting on Monday February 12, 2018 at 6:30 PM to discuss new appointments, review of the February MSBA meeting, proposed options, eminent domain and schedule. The SBC voted to explore Add/Reno option 2A, Add/ Reno option 3A expanded site, and New School on expanded site. While the MSBA initially targeted January 2019 for eminent domain action in order to complete necessary work for the revised PSR. Perkins Eastman recommended that the eminent domain schedule be addressed no later than July 2018. The City of Lowell may need to access the dentist parcel to conduct soil testing.
The initial schedule proposed by Perkins Eastman was for a PSR design submission to MSBA on July 11, 2018 for an August Board of Directors meeting. The SBC strongly urged Perkins Eastman to target a June 2018 Board of Directors meeting. Perkins Eastman agreed to make every effort to target the June meeting. Removing the New School on the expanded site option helped to expedite the schedule. As a result, the City Manager, Perkins Eastman, and Skanska requested the MSBA allow the City to forgo exploration of the New School on the expanded site.
On June 27, 2018, the MSBA voted to approve the City of Lowell to proceed into schematic design for an addition and renovation project at the Lowell High School, contingent upon the City gaining full ownership, control and exclusive use of the entire site, including the adjacent property by eminent domain.
The Schematic Design was completed in January 2019. The Schematic Design and Estimates were submitted to the MSBA on February 20, 2019. The Lowell City Council appropriated $343,399,220 for the on May 7, 2019 for the Lowell High School project. On June 7, 2019 the City entered into a Project, Scope and Budget Agreement with the MSBA for a construction cost budget of $270,444,856 within an overall project budget of $343,399,220. Suffolk Construction was hired as the Construction Manager in July 2019. On November 13, 2020 the MSBA and the City executed a Project Funding Agreement for a Total Project Budget of $343,399,220.
Design Development took place from June 2019 through January 2020 and was formally submitted to the MSBA on February 28, 2020. 60% Construction Documents were developed January through August 2020 and were formally submitted to the MSBA on September 25, 2020. 90% Construction Documents completed in November 2020 with submission to the MSBA on December 11, 2020. As this is a Chapter 149A Construction Manager At-Risk Project Early Bid Packages issued for the Phase 1 site work, foundation and structural steel in August 2020. The construction started on the Phase 1 new gymnasium in October 2020 while design was still under way. The phased occupied renovation addition of the existing school building will encompass 4 Phases and be completed in June 2026. The Phase 1 New Gymnasium opened in August 2022. Phase 2 constructing a new Freshman Academy Building, new Main Entrance and new Cafeteria is underway with completion scheduled for Spring 2024.
For more information on the process, please visit the Massachusetts School Building Authority website.
Disclaimer: As with every construction project, the scope, design, schedule, and costs are all subject to change as the project progresses. This website contains planning and design materials which reflect a fluid work-in-progress and an ever-evolving design that should not be construed to be “final” as they are subject to modification.
Find meeting dates for the School Building Committee.
For miscellaneous documents related to the Lowell High School Project
Photos from the Presentation by the LHS Project Team to the LHS School Building Committee - August 2022