In the News

Central High School Science Labs Ground Breaking

PRESS RELEASE                                                              

Jim Leydon

Communications Director

Office of Mayor Domenic J. Sarno




July 15, 2013-Springfield, MA- Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Massachusetts State Treasurer Steve Grossman, Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) Executive Director Jack McCarthy, Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Dan Warwick and Director of Capital Asset Construction Rita Coppola; broke ground on Central High Schools’ new science labs.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated; “A big thank you to State Treasurer Steve Grossman and MSBA Director Jack McCarthy for coming through on this project and many others; Treasurer Grossman has been so supportive of Springfield. This is a major investment in the City’s most valuable asset, our children. This project will bring Central’s teaching capabilities into the 21st century and provide students with the environment and tools necessary for a world class education in the sciences.”  

The $32 Million project, up to 80% of which will be reimbursed by the MSBA, will construct 18 new state-of-the-art science classrooms: twelve in the new three story 30,000 square foot addition located at the northeast corner of the site and six on the renovated third floor. In addition to the science related work. The entire school's roofing system is being replaced, and a new fire protection system will be installed throughout.

“Ensuring that our students have access to a top-notch, 21st century science curriculum not only better prepares our kids for the demands of an evolving job market, but it also enhances the future competitiveness of the Commonwealth,” said Grossman.  “We are committed to delivering the best environment possible for Central High School kids to establish a strong foundation in science, and I’m delighted to see this important initiative move forward.”

“Districts taking part in the Science Lab Initiative, like Springfield, are investing in otherwise sound high school facilities by focusing on prototype designs for science labs. This targeted use of funds will provide students in the district with the facilities they need to succeed in the 21st century economy,” said Executive Director McCarthy.

There are six classrooms each for chemistry, physics and biology.  There are two chemistry, biology and physics rooms each in the renovated area.  The new addition has four classrooms of each, organized per floor and will include:          

·Shared prep rooms where instructors prepare for demonstrations and student labs. The prep rooms provide secure storage of materials and equipment.

·Renovated rooms will have all the same amenities as the new rooms: new science casework, furnishings, equipment and technology, building systems (HVAC, plumbing, power and lighting), as well as new floor, wall and ceiling finishes. New construction and systems will comply with the applicable "stretch" energy code requirements.

The classrooms are designed for flexibility in the teaching of science both now and in the future:

·Classrooms have perimeter counters with sinks, water, gas, power and data utilities, and a mobile demonstration table for the instructor.  This creates an open floor plan allowing flexible arrangements of furnishings for lectures, labs, and group study. 

·While universal in nature, there is a degree of customization of classroom spaces between the subjects. For example, physics classrooms feature ceiling mounted beams for suspending physical experiments, and biology and chemistry classrooms have fume hoods for chemical experiments.

·Classroom utilities are installed to make future modifications driven by changes in curriculum easier.

·Classroom technology includes a "teaching wall" featuring an interactive whiteboard, wireless access with laptops/tablets available to students and an assisted listening system which will amplify the teacher's voice to the class.

·Safety features in every classroom include a safety shower and eyewash, a gas detection system with emergency shut off and shut offs for water and power to the student lab benches.

Specialty areas include a refurbished greenhouse, a centralized/secure chemical storage room and a staff development room.

Superintendent of Schools Daniel J. Warwick said Central High School is well suited to make the very most of the new facilities. “At any given time during the school day, Central High School is using 100 percent of its teaching and learning space,” said Warwick. “We are thrilled that the addition will enhance what is already an efficient and productive educational environment for teachers and students.  Most importantly, we are excited about the new heights of achievement we know this opportunity will afford Central students.”

The work is being constructed in phases; construction of the new addition will begin this summer with completion scheduled for September 2014. Upon completion of the new addition, the third floor renovation work will begin, with completion scheduled for December 2014.  The roof replacement and fire protection system installation will be performed during the summers of 2013 and 2014 to minimize disruption of the school.

Capital Asset Construction Director Rita Coppola stated; "This is a new initiative that the MSBA has launched and I am thrilled that the City has been able to leverage funds from this program to modernize and add to the science lab space at Central. The facility itself is in exceptional condition aside from the roof and the MSBA has agreed to participate with the full replacement of the roof as part of this project."

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm