June 16, 2011 – A ceremonial groundbreaking was held on Thursday, June 9th to mark the soon-to-start construction of the new $100 Million Wakefield High School, which is one of three public comprehensive high schools in Arlington County. The groundbreaking was attended by school and public officials, as well as various community, parent, and student representatives. Among those in attendance were Dr. Patrick Murphy, Superintendent, Arlington Public Schools; Chris Zimmerman, Chairman, Arlington County Board; Chris Willmore, Principal, Wakefield High School; and Clarence Stukes, Assistant Superintendent, Facilities & Operations, Arlington Public Schools.
This project will involve the construction of a new 380,000 SF four-level school for a population of 1,600 students to replace the existing 60-year-old building. The new school will feature 50 classrooms, a large student commons area, state-of-the-art science labs, music and art rooms, media center, 625-seat auditorium, two gyms, new athletic fields, two indoor pools, a diving well, and a geothermal heating and cooling plant. The project will also include abatement and demolition of the existing school and pool buildings once occupancy of the new building is achieved.
Rick Forrester, Principal of Forrester Construction, said “Forrester Construction is extremely honored to be building this state-of-the-art, sustainable facility. The new Wakefield High School will be a tremendous asset to the Arlington community.”
The project is required to meet LEED Silver Certification, but is expected to achieve Gold. The Owner is Arlington Public Schools and the Architect is Bowie Gridley Architects of Washington, DC. Actual construction work will start shortly after July 1st, with completion of the school building due in time for the opening of the 2013-14 school year.