Work Moving Ahead on New High School, Likely to Extend Into the Evening Some Days

The steel frame of the gymnasium at the new Watertown School before the slab is placed on the area in early April. (Courtesy of Vertex)

The following announcement was provided by Watertown’s project management firm, Vertex:

The new WHS Project Site remains busy as the site preparation and steel detailing continues. Above is a current view of the steel erection progress (view of the new gymnasium space) ahead of our upcoming slab on deck placement in this area next week. We have several slab placements on the schedule for next week proposed for the following dates:

Monday April 1st : Gymnasium

Wednesday April 3rd

Thursday April 4th

These slab placements are beginning at 7 a.m. on each of the above dates. The duration required for the slabs to be finished is dependent on the outside air temperate and weather conditions on the day of placement.

LETTER: What’s Happening With Watertown High School’s Trophies?

To: School Administration, Town Officials, Historical Society of Watertown and to the editor of the WatertownMaNews, 

Recently during the deconstruction of the Watertown high school, I was made aware of a recent discovery or a better description, recovery of a WHS sports trophy. It was pulled out of a pile of debris being loaded onto a construction vehicle. My first thought was, who cares, is it a big deal, does it really matter??? It’s only one trophy but is it “only one” trophy or were the rest of the trophies dishonorably trucked out too? And when you think about it, it does matter, it matters to the winning Coaches, it matters to the outstanding Athletes that earned those trophies and the Watertown community.

Watertown High School Musical, “Working,” Takes the Mosesian Center Stage This Weekend

For two nights and one afternoon, Watertown High School students will bring Working: A Musical to the stage at the Mosesian Center for the Arts. “This year’s spring musical will take place on March 1st and March 2nd at 7 p.m. and March 3rd at 2 p.m. All shows will take place at the Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts at 321 Arsenal Street,” the announcement from the school said. General admission is $10 and Watertown Students are free. 

Working is based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with American workers, and paints a vivid portrait of the workers that the world so often takes for granted. The original production was nominated for six Tony Awards, and features songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephen Schwartz, Craig Carnelia, James Taylor, Micki Grant, and more.

School Committee to Look at Ways to Make Overnight Field Trips Affordable for All Students

Watertown Public School music students perform at Bandarama. Those in high school take a trip to New York every two years. The School Committee approved a field trip for Watertown High School music students to spend a weekend in New York, but had concerns about the price and making sure that all students can participate. The trip to the Big Apple has become a biannual tradition for the chorus, band, and orchestra. The trip includes a performance and workshop with professional musicians, a Broadway show, a dinner/dance cruise around the Statue of Liberty, visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and walking around Central Park.

Following False Alarms Watertown Schools to Hold Emergency Drills, Also Seek to Improve Communication System

After a series of false alarms in the security systems at Watertown’s new schools, the district plans to hold drills for the students, and will look for ways to avoid more incidents in the future. The Watertown Public Schools opened two brand new elementary schools, a third underwent a major renovation and expansion, and students at the high school have a new, temporary home. The new buildings also have new technology, including a multi-hazard notification system, said Superintendent Dede Galdston. All four new schools have had false alarms, she said, some due to wiring and other when the panic button was pressed by mistake. “We want to make sure people understand that these happen and that we will do to prevent that from happening again,” Galdston said.

High School Demolition Going Slower Than Anticipated, Work Continues This Week

The remaining part of the old Watertown High School Building. (Courtesy of Vertex)

The following information was provided by project management firm Vertex:

The Watertown High School project team continues to be hard at work progressing the demolition of the existing high school and installing new foundations in preparation for our first steel deliveries in January. 

As you can see from the picture above taken from across Common Street at the corner of Spring Street, there continues to be structure remaining at that corner. Between recent challenging weather conditions, and a decision to use more “handwork” for demolition of areas closest to the cemetery and the street, we are progressing a little slower than we had hoped.  With that said, we have agreed that the Contractor can continue with onsite demolition Saturday 12/30/23 within normal working hours allowed by the City, which is 8 a.m.-4 p.m. 

There will not be any loading out of materials so the Community will still have the holiday reprieve from trucking. All normal trucking and construction activities will resume on Tuesday 1/2/24 at 7 a.m.

We appreciate your continued patience and support as we work together to bring the new Watertown High School to fruition.  There will be a lot of exciting updates to share with you in 2024!

Bricks from Old High School Available, Lane Closing for Project

The old Watertown High School has been mostly demolished. This photo, courtesy of Watertown Cable, was taken in late November. The following announcement was provided by Vertex:

Exciting progress continues on the Watertown High School project as the existingbuilding is more than 50% demolished and foundation work has started. Please see below forupdates regarding specific project details. Upcoming Work Affecting Traffic Pattern of Common Street

On Wednesday December 20th contractors will be performing work on Common St.

Rates of Alcohol & Drug Use Down for Watertown Students, But Depression & Stress Has Risen

The rate of alcohol and marijuana is dropping for Watertown students, according to a survey by the Watertown Youth Coalition, but school officials have concerns about use among certain groups, as well as the feeling of depression and not having trusted adults with whom they can speak. For the past three decades, the Watertown Youth Coalition has monitored the well-being of Watertown students by tracking the use of alcohol and drugs, and rates of depression and stress. In November, the WYC reported the results of the 2023 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which was taken by 424 Watertown Middle School students and 591 from Watertown High School. At the high school 18 percent of students reported they had consumed alcohol over the previous 30 days, down from 23 percent in 2021 and 32 percent in 2017. The middle school went from 4 percent in 2021 to 3 percent in 2023.