Construction is well underway at Bristol County Agricultural High School, bringing the vision for the school’s new innovative spaces to life and prepping for a complete opening in winter 2021.
The design for the new and renovated high school campus is a reflection of the culture at Bristol Aggie, a unique school that promotes immersive, hands-on learning. The campus is the classroom, and the site is an arboretum; sustainable elements encourage conversations about carbon and land use, and students are given the responsibility of maintaining the campus grounds. While the school’s previous layout maintained a division between academic and vocational spaces, the new organization integrates the different programs and encourages movement between the North and South campuses along a vibrant pedestrian spine.
As construction on campus begins to wrap up, many facilities have already opened their doors to students, showcasing Bristol Aggie’s new state-of-the-art learning spaces. One of the first being the Center for Science and Environment, a large brick structure at the heart of the campus that functions as a living learning lab with green roofs and flexible classrooms as well as specialized lab spaces for carpentry, welding, arbor landscape design, and active animal rehabilitation.
At the heart of the campus, the recently completed heavy timber-frame Student Commons provides students with a space to work, eat, study and socialize. Home to a double-height cafeteria, media center, small group study rooms and a roof deck overlooking the campus’ working farm, the Student Commons offers a range of spaces as a hub for student activity.
Gilbert Hall, an existing building undergoing renovation to accommodate academic and design labs, has also begun the transition to occupancy, hosting interactive lessons in a new, one-of-a-kind climbing lab. Other spaces housed in Gilbert Hall including classrooms, an administrative wing and two gymnasiums will be in use for the 2021 fall semester.
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.
The new Landscape Arbor Lab recently opened for students this summer, the renovated Agricultural Mechanics building is open for the fall semester, and Bristol Aggie’s state-of-the-art new Dairy Barn, which is equipped with robotic milking technology, is set to open in late fall of 2021.
Bristol Aggie maintains high standards for sustainability. Systems such as solar panels and green roofs are highly visible and integrated within campus, encouraging student interest and involvement in the latest sustainable technologies. Each building on campus achieves distinct sustainability goals developed through close collaboration with students, educators, and community members; the Center for Science and the Environment is designed to LEED Gold standards, the renovations to Gilbert Hall target LEED Silver, the Dairy Barn will be built net-zero ready with the potential to achieve positive-net energy, and the exposed glue laminated timber structure of the new Student Commons will serve as a low-carbon, high-performance construction alternative.
Sited on the banks of the Taunton River, the new design prioritizes water conservation methods throughout the campus. A dry bed outside of the Center for Science and the Environment will collect stormwater runoff to irrigate the landscape and care for campus greenery, while eight composting toilets inside the CSE also help to cut down on water usage. Despite the addition of three new buildings on campus, the new water conservation methods reduce overall water usage by 40%.