Oxford High School (Oxford, Mass.)

Oxford, Massachusetts

The Town of Oxford, Mass., faced the challenge of deciding what to do with eight school buildings that ranged from 38 to 102 years old.

A feasibility study recommended consolidating them into four buildings: renovating and adding to two elementary schools, converting the high school to a middle school and constructing a new 700-student high school. The modifications ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY700COST PER SQ FT$115.15FEATURED IN2003 Architectural Portfolio the lowest cost per square foot of any high school in Massachusetts in the last four years.

The construction did not disrupt students or staff. The new school was built first, and then work continued on one vacant school after another until completion.

The high school’s masonry detailing and Dutch-hipped roofs echo the traditional Blackstone Valley mill buildings, and its massing and curved window wall glazing make a contemporary statement. The classroom wing surrounds a spacious courtyard, providing ample natural light and ventilation.

The $25 million project is $6.7 million less than the maximum cost allowed by the Massachusetts Board of Education.