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Groundbreaking Ceremony of Watertown’s Net Zero Energy High School

November 30, 2023

Welcoming a new era of sustainable education, this groundbreaking ceremony marked the commencement of construction for Watertown’s Net Zero Energy High School on November 16, 2023. The dedication of the City and Project Team promises the arrival of a LEED Platinum, Zero Net Energy high school in the spring of 2026.

VERTEX was selected as OPM in March 2019 to manage the Feasibility/Design phase of the new Watertown High School project. The current High School was built in phases starting in 1926 and has long been unsuitable as a modern high school. One complexity in Watertown was the fact that it is one of the most congested communities in the metropolitan Boston area with few options to build a 201,000 sf school let alone a 10-12 acre campus required for most high schools. VERTEX and the designer, Ai3 Architects, analyzed multiple options over four different sites and arrived at a preferred option involving the current high school site and building a major swing space complex to house the high school temporarily while the new high school is built. The $219M Watertown HS is designed for 720 students, includes Chapter 74 program areas, a TV studio, athletic facilities, performing arts including a black box theater, and incorporates under-building parking for the full staff of 126 spaces allowing for a small multi-purpose field for PE class on its campus for the first time.  The project is designed to be Net Zero Energy inclusive of geothermal wells and PV panels, and will meet LEED Platinum.

VERTEX also manages the public outreach effort including the project website which can be viewed at watertown.k12.building_for_the_future.

“The City and Project Team endured a lot of challenges to get to this day.  We’re excited to be bringing this LEED Platinum, Zero Net Energy high school to Watertown in the  Spring of 2026. Thank you, Laurie Soave, Chase Terrio, and Nate Whiteley for all you did to make the event go so smoothly!” Christy Murphy, Project Executive 

Full story at  Groundbreaking Ceremony Celebrates Start of Construction of Watertown’s Net Zero Energy High School | Watertown News (  

And on Channel 4, Boston @ 

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