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PMA is proud to announce that the $160 million Saugus Middle-High School project in Saugus, MA has received the Best Project Award by Engineering News Record (ENR) New England in the K-12 Education category. The product of many years of hard work and planning, the new school campus kicks off a complete district-wide master plan effort to update the town’s educational facilities to meet twenty-first century standards.   

The multi-phase Saugus Middle-High School project involved construction of a new 271,000 square foot facility for 1,360 students, as well as an athletic complex. Despite the COVID-19 crisis hitting during the project’s construction, the core project team of PMA, HMFH Architects, and Suffolk Construction worked together with the Town of Saugus to keep the project schedule on track. The school facility was substantially completed in July 2020 and the sport complex was completed in August 2021.  

PMA served as owner’s project manager for the Town of Saugus from the project’s feasibility phase through to closeout. “The success of this project is reflective of an Owner [Town of Saugus] with a clear expectation and a professional and collaborative project team,” stated Kevin Nigro, Project Director. “Having grown up in Saugus, it was an extremely satisfying experience to be a part of this project.  I am grateful to all members of the project team and will look back fondly on this project for the rest of my career,” added Joe DeSantis, Project Manager. 

Unique Design Elements

The new Saugus Middle-High School facility has many impressive design elements that speak to the Town’s culture and history including a striking exterior honoring the nearby historic Saugus Iron Works and the native Saugus Sachems, as well as curtain wall towers along the façade outlined in red which is Saugus’ town color. The building also features multi-story lightwells that each contain a graphic depicting some of Saugus’s historic industries: lobstering, iron, and ice. 

Saugus Middle-High School

© Robert Benson Photography

The high school and middle school are separated into two wings with a central core bridging the two schools with shared common space. The new facility boasts state-of-the-art science and technology labs, art rooms, drama classrooms, a TV studio, and robotic/engineering labs. The new school also includes enhanced spaces for SPED classrooms and labs, as well as a cafeteria, gym, and auditorium.

Saugus Middle-High School

© Robert Benson Photography

Commitment to Sustainability

The Saugus Middle-High School project is in the process of becoming LEED Platinum Certified. Some elements of the campus that support this exceptional commitment to sustainability include multi-story lightwells to distribute natural light throughout the school. A vegetated green roof assists in slowing the rate of stormwater runoff, while also cleaning and filtering it for reuse.

The facility uses efficient and innovative building systems for heating, power, lighting, and HVAC. Water systems make it possible to reduce water usage by collecting rainwater for toilet flushing and irrigation onsite, while plumbing fixtures are automatic and reduce water waste.

The design team worked with the Town to use renewable resources such as bamboo and recycled materials such as concrete, structural steel, roofing, linoleum flooring, ceiling tires, and carpeting.

Supporting LEED principles, the school is in the center of Saugus which allows direct access to public transportation as well as a bike path. The school also provides on-site shower facilities to encourage students to utilize these bike paths.

Saugus Middle-High School

© Robert Benson Photography

Community-led Design

The project team was excited to engage the Saugus community in many of the project phases to share and collect ideas, as well as to aid in the school’s meaningful design. A public survey was shared in the project’s early design phase and received nearly 300 responses which helped to guide the project’s success. Saugus students studying art and history helped create a needed catalog of important historical items within the existing facility to protect aspects of the community’s history that are most cherished.

Saugus Middle-High School

© Jim Harrington Photography

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