Old School Meets New Future

Sustainability means leveraging an existing school’s embodied energy to benefit a new generation of students

Methuen High School

City of Methuen
Methuen, Massachusetts

Originally built in 1975 as an open-classroom school, Finegold Alexander transformed Methuen High School into a future-forward learning environment. An enhanced arrival sequence and clarity of circulation are mainstays of the rigorous redesign. Finegold Alexander introduced natural daylight throughout to enhance academic spaces and reduce electricity demands. Vibrant common areas, flexible learning spaces and inspiring finishes support a shared educational mission. The design expands teaching tools with a new arts and music wing and a 750-seat performing arts center. The building was constructed in two phases, enabling Methuen High School to be 100% student occupied during the entire two-year project.

(Photo credit: Neil Alexander)

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365,000 SF
Addition, Renovation
Classrooms, Science Labs, Media Center, Kitchen/Cafeteria, Arts & Music Studios, Performing Arts Center
NECHPS Certified
2015 American School & University Magazine - Citation Award
2016 BSA - Citation Award for Education Facilities Design
In the news
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Project EUI
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“A large existing structure was partially demolished, renovated, and cohesively united with an inserted addition through a few careful and economic design moves… This is very successful work, commendably restrained.”
BSA Jury, BSA Education Facilities Design

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A central lightwell spine brings natural daylighting into the building, connects the classrooms and doubles as a flexible learning space, with seating alcoves and breakout rooms overlooking the central corridor.

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“I truly appreciate all of your time and effort on this project over the last few years. I have heard nothing but glowing reviews from people who have seen the building.”
Stephen N. Zanni, former Mayor of Methuen