Arlington High School

The design of the new Arlington High School supports interdisciplinary learning, accessible community programs, and the town’s goal of a carbon-free future. Backed by an overwhelmingly positive town vote, the all-electric school replaces a sprawling, outdated facility with welcoming and flexible spaces for hands-on learning.


Arlington, MA


408,500 sf






Tracking LEED Platinum

Projected Energy Use Intensity (pEUI)

24.7 kBTU/sf/yr

Renewable Energy

1MW PV array

A central spine connects the new school’s tree-lined entrance on Massachusetts Avenue to the lower entrance, which serves the athletic fields, parking, and bikeway. Four wings—STEAM, humanities, performing arts, and athletics—plug into the spine and contain flexible classrooms, science labs, teacher planning areas, independent and project-based learning nooks, and maker and art spaces. As it moves through the building, the central spine serves as the lobby for each of the main public venues—the 800-seat auditorium, black box theater and gymnasiums—then becomes a public forum and informal social space as it cascades down into the cafeteria and lower entrance.

“The new school will enable high-quality education that is active, collaborative, connected to the outside world, and purposeful.”

Kathleen Bodie | Former Superintendent, Arlington Public Schools

A variety of academic spaces maximize exploratory learning and cater to a wide range of learning styles. Classrooms are equipped with flexible furnishings and built-in cabinetry that doubles as whiteboard space to meet the needs of each lesson, while specialty classrooms offer unique learning opportunities that were not previously available.

The natural environment is woven into the learning environment through views, daylighting, and access to the outdoors. A central courtyard and outdoor amphitheater connect students to the surrounding environment and provide opportunities for outdoor learning. Within the school, daylighting strategies reduce energy consumption and natural light is maximized through the use of multi-story lightwells, skylights, and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Phasing Schedule

The new Arlington High School is constructed in phases to allow students to remain on the site throughout construction.

  • Phase 1 (open 2022): STEAM wing and performing arts wing
  • Phase 2 (open 2023): Central spine, cafeteria, media center, humanities wing and preschool
  • Phase 3 (opening 2025): Athletics wing
  • Phase 4 (opening 2025): Remaining site work