HMFH Architects

Bristol County Agricultural High School

Dighton, MA

The design of the renewed Bristol Aggie campus celebrates the tradition and culture of the unique agricultural high school, while introducing innovative educational spaces that promote an immersive, hands-on learning model rooted in science.

Our project is large and complex with additions, renovations, new construction and many programs with highly specific, technical requirements. HMFH has been careful and methodical helping us work through our needs to develop a thoughtful and comprehensive solution.

Adele Sands Former Superintendent, Bristol County Agricultural High School
  • Grades 9-12
  • Students 640
  • Size 196,000 ft2

Sited on the banks of the Taunton River, Bristol County Agricultural High School draws students from 20 communities to a career-oriented curriculum centered around agricultural science and technology. Expansion from 450 to 640 students required strategic new construction, additions, and renovations to create more cohesion among academic and career technical studies on campus and provide new state-of-the-art labs and specialized learning spaces.


The renewed campus integrates Bristol Aggie’s programs in agricultural mechanics, animal science, arboriculture, environmental engineering, floriculture, landscape design and natural resource management, and is organized along a new vibrant pedestrian thoroughfare to promote movement between the north and south campuses. In support of Bristol Aggie’s unique curriculum in agricultural science, facilities feature specialized spaces and technology tailored to the programs they house, providing the resources for students to reach their full academic potential. The design includes six new and updated buildings on campus: the new Center for Science and the Environment, new Student Commons, renovations and a small addition to Gilbert Hall, a new Landscape/Arbor Building, a renovated Agricultural Mechanics Building, and a new Dairy Barn.

The Center for Science and the Environment, a LEED Gold-certified brick and metal panel structure, highlights the integral role of science and research in all Bristol Aggie programs. Functioning as a living learning center, the CSE supports a range of spaces, including a student-curated natural resource museum, specialized bio-secure labs, flexible classrooms, and two vegetative green roofs. Sustainable design elements include a highly visible PV array and composting toilets to conserve water in the new building.

At the heart of the campus, the heavy timber-frame Student Commons provides students with a space to work, eat, study and socialize. Home to a double-height dining area, media center, media commons, small group study room and a roof terrace overlooking the campus’ working farm, the Student Commons unites the various Bristol Aggie programs in a single shared space and serves as a hub for student activity. The glue laminated timber structure of the building is exposed, connecting students to the local ecology and educating them on low-carbon alternatives to typical construction methods.

The renovation and addition to Gilbert Hall, an existing historic building on the south end of campus, revitalizes the existing space for new academic classrooms, administrative space, two gymnasiums and a one-of-a-kind indoor climbing lab, while maintaining the original integrity of the space. A stair tower addition on the eastern face of the building introduces a new entrance and features a double-height timeline graphic depicting the history of Bristol Aggie’s campus. The renovated building is LEED Gold certified.

Today was the first time that I used our indoor climbing structure and..... IT WAS AWESOME! This was a huge success and I want to thank HMFH for all of their efforts to make this possible.

Seth CookTeacher, Bristol County Agricultural High School

Other buildings on campus including the new Landscape/Arbor Building, the renovated Agricultural Mechanics Building and the new net-zero ready Dairy Barn which features state-of-the-art robotic milking technology, are designed to accommodate specialized programs that require expansive open space for hands-on learning.

The new Bristol Aggie campus is exactly what our staff and students deserve. It is breathtaking, functional and representative of who we are and what we do.

Adele SandsFormer Superintendent, Bristol County Agricultural High School
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