Dorchester, MA – The construction of the new Conservatory Lab Charter School (CLCS), located in Dorchester, marks the beginning of a new era in the school’s history with a number of new and updated facilities for students.
The three-story, 41,000sf building provides students with a space to learn, collaborate and thrive in a spacious, modern educational environment. It includes updated classrooms, offices, music performance spaces, a cafeteria, gymnasium, and two lab areas.
Managed by Commodore Builders, a $400 million veteran-owned construction management firm, and designed by Arrowstreet Architects, a Boston-based architecture and design firm, this Chapter 149A project required a strong level of collaboration with all of the involved parties to create an innovative and functional space for students and teachers.
“They had a true and a clear understanding of what needed to be done with the space before we could actually visualize it, and for me that was very important because we had a lot of important and unanswered questions about what was possible,” said CLCS COO, John Chistolini.
Many challenges arose during construction including the discovery of seven unforeseen underground storage tanks that needed to be removed before construction could even begin. After a series of inspections, soil testing and cleanings, the tanks were successfully removed with very minimal disruption to the project.
Managing construction in an abutting Dorchester neighborhood can be difficult. Through coordination, communication and public outreach, Commodore Builders successfully carried out the project while actively involving various members of the community along the way. A community-wide groundbreaking ceremony was held with many locals in attendance, as well as Boston’s Mayor, Marty Walsh, who is a native of Dorchester himself.
Although construction was halted for nine weeks because of the pandemic, the project was successfully completed prior to the beginning of the fall 2020 school year.
“The strong team dynamic between Commodore Builders, Arrowstreet Architects, KVAssociates Inc. and the Conservatory Lab Charter School fostered a truly collaborative working environment which led to a successful project,” said Richard Lucht, VP of Institutional Group, Commodore Builders. “The completed work is a testament to our team’s resilience and incredible craftsmanship, and we are very proud of the finished project, as well as the work it took to get there.”