A River Runs Through It

Waltham High School
Waltham, MA

SMMA is providing full architecture and engineering services for a new anticipated 421,000 sf comprehensive high school serving 1,830 students in Waltham, MA. The school aims to provide both academic and vocational programs such as culinary arts; it will also feature a “Newcomer Academy” geared toward educating the District’s increasing SIFE (Students with Interrupted Formal Education) population.

As one could imagine, a project of this magnitude does not come without obstacles. One of several site challenges for the new Waltham High School is a riverbank and wetlands that cut directly through the site. The river – which is technically an intermittent stream – has a massive effect on the project’s site design. Working alongside SMMA’s wetlands consultant, our Site Design team has developed a strategy to divert this bank away from the proposed development and replicate wetland areas that will also help with stormwater management for the site and surrounding area.

In order to both replicate the resources and to improve their quality, our experts propose native planting that will stabilize the bank and establish these new resource areas as quickly as possible. Check out these section renderings to get a better idea of what the design looks like!