Kaestle Boos Associates
Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School rendering

Massachusetts vocational high school moves forward with plans to construct new facility

Nov. 1, 2021
A new Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School will increase the school's square footage by 50%.

Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fall River, Mass., is moving forward with plans to construct a new facility. 

The plans call for a four-story building that will increase the school's square footage by more than 50%, reports The Fall River Herald News. 

The existing Diman building is about 250,000 square feet -- the new building will be about 395,000 square feet and will be built on the existing school's football field. 

Officials say constructing a new building better fit their needs rather than making renovations to the existing building. They have asked the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for additional funds to build the new facility.

The existing school’s academic classrooms and vocational shops are smaller than the guidelines laid out by the state for classroom size. The school was grandfathered in from having to follow those guidelines, but bigger rooms would enable the school to have better equipment and more space for instruction.

The school has five lunch periods because the cafeteria is too small. Retrofitted storage space are being used as offices so that former offices can be used as classrooms.

A new building would increase  classroom sizes from 500 square feet to 800, and double the size of many technical shops.

The existing building is in decent shape but has some deficiencies, such as cracks in the building’s outer walls and accessibility problems.

The plans include environmentally friendly design features, like a geothermal heating and cooling system. These elements have prompted the MSBA to increase the amount it reimburse Diman for the project, from 68% of eligible elements to 79%.

Some parts of the planned new building, like district offices, are not eligible for state reimbursement. So, the state will reimburse up to 52% of the total $293.2 million project.

Kaestle Boos Associates is designing the facility. 

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