Education Featured Groundbreaking Up Front

CTA Construction Celebrates Groundbreaking on Lowell Elementary School

(l-r): Jeff Hazelwood; Jared Smith, project manager, CTA Construction Managers; and Mark Sideris, Watertown City Council president

Watertown, MA – CTA Construction Managers staff members joined the school building committee, members of the community, and school district staff on April 27 for a groundbreaking ceremony for Lowell Elementary School in Watertown.

CTA Construction was awarded the contract in March to renovate and add two new additions to the historic school. “We are happy to be working again with both Ai3 Architects and owner’s project management firm Hill International,” said Jeff Hazelwood, principal of CTA Construction Managers.

Ai3 Architects worked with the city’s team to design a renovation for the existing 71,000sf building along with two new additions to the structure. “The Lowell School sits on an historic Watertown property that includes a substantial “front lawn” within a densely populated residential neighborhood including many historic homes,” said Daren Sawyer, partner at Ai3 Architects LLC. “The proposed modifications to the existing site required careful considerations regarding the impact to the surrounding neighborhood.  One of the two new additions includes a new Learning Commons with a commanding view of the front lawn and newly established outdoor learning labs and gardens. The reorganization of the building allows for grade-level teams with strong connectivity to hands-on learning opportunities.

(l-r): Nathanial Williams, Ai3 Architects; Jared Smith; and Daren Sawyer

“Newly created art and music program space within the existing building allow for enhanced opportunities for instruction, participation, and advanced programming options in areas like 3D art, digital media, music production, and performance. Dedicated space for teacher planning and collaboration throughout the building will greatly enhance professional practices and teacher communication.”

The building committee, which approved CTA Construction’s bid of $37,974,750 in late March, has scheduled the project finished by the start of the 2023/2024 school year.

Vivian Varbedian, project director for Hill International

This is Ai3 Architects’ second project with CTA Construction Managers. CTA Construction has previously worked with Hill International on eight projects, including the Tufts Library for the Town of Weymouth. That public library project earned the Project Achievement Award from the New England chapter of the Construction Management Association of America.

“We are glad to be entering the construction phase of this project,” said Vivian Varbedian, owner’s project manager from Hill International. “Hill International has worked with CTA in the past on various projects and looks forward to partnering again on this endeavor.”

This will be CTA Construction’s 41st school project in Massachusetts.