Somerville High School Renovation: Changes to Central Hill Campus Parking (Community Meeting 11/27)

Changes to Central Hill Campus Parking 

With construction on the new Somerville High School building project set to begin in January 2018, gradual changes to parking options on the Central Hill Campus (which includes City Hall, Somerville High School, and the Somerville Public Library) and the surrounding public streets will also begin at that time.

The City understands that although these changes are necessary to the completion of the new high school project, the shift of employee parking from designated lots on the campus to nearby streets will present some challenges and growing pains to both employees and nearby residents.

Consultants from the firm of Nelson\Nygaard conducted a parking study to address the reduction in on-campus parking and inform new parking strategies that both meet the needs of employees and are mindful of the impact on residents. An extensive parking survey that examined parking utilization at various times of day on the Central Hill Campus, as well as streets within a reasonable walking distance, was conducted in spring of 2017.

It is important to note in advance that while some parking changes will begin in late December, parking will be eliminated in phases, not all at one time.

This study will be reviewed in detail at a community meeting on Monday, November 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the Somerville High School Library, 81 Highland Ave.

The study’s executive summary is available for review prior to the meeting at this link.

Questions? Contact Mike Tremblay in the Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development, at mtremblay@somervillema.gov.

Background Information on Somerville High School Renovation

With the oldest sections of the school built in the late 1800s, Somerville High School is one of the oldest secondary schools in New England that has not undergone extensive renovation. In 2015, City and School officials determined there was a more urgent need for review and research on renovation or rebuilding needs due to several important factors, including the potential for the school to lose its accreditation, building and structural issues, and high energy consumption.

The Somerville High School Building Committee was convened in September 2015 to identify the educational plan and an associated facility that would meet the needs of the 21stcentury learning environment. The committee reviewed options for renovation or replacement of the current school that would support that proposed educational plan. Those options included: base repair, full renovation, addition/renovation, new construction at the existing site, or new construction at another site. Following discussion of nine proposed options, the SBC voted to submit one option for final review by the Massachusetts School Building Authority, which was ultimately approved by that Board, the Mayor, and the Somerville Board of Aldermen.

Much more information, including Building Committee meeting minutes, videos, and additional documents are available at www.somervillema.gov/highschool.