The existing David Prouty High School was constructed in 1966. It is now 56 years old. It is a three story building made up of three separate volumes connected by walkways. The building predates modern building codes and educational goals.
The following concerns were noted by the engineers and architects during the feasibility study:
- Lacks an automatic fire suppression system.
- Floor to floor heights prohibit installation of automatic sprinklers.
- Alarm systems are less complete than what would be required in new construction.
- Unit ventilators and hot water piping are original to the building and are no longer operating as intended. Failures are a regular occurrence resulting in overheating in the summer and flooding and classroom closures in the winter.
- Ventilation systems do not meet the minimum ventilation requirements of today’s mechanical code and does not include cooling.
- Installing new duct work in the classroom wing is not recommended because of the low floor to floor height of the classroom section.
- Full renovation or the building would require a costly seismic update of the existing structural systems.
- Under insulated and experiencing moisture and mold issues because of water infiltration.
- Gymnasium roof is in poor condition and leaks regularly.
- Existing windows and doors are poorly performing and should be replaced.
- Building contains asbestos and other concerns that will require remediation at an estimated cost of $3.1M.
- Undersized and outdated science labs have made it difficult for the school to retain certification of science programs.
- Physical education facilities are dated and offer unequal resources to male and female students.
- Lacks appropriate staff offices and meeting spaces to support the mental health issues, learning challenges, physical challenges and diverse educational challenges of today’s students.
- Lacks appropriately furnished spaces to support small group learning or independent work.
- Electrical, security and IT systems are inadequate to support the needs of current teaching requirements.
- Accessibility issues include an inaccessible stage, non-compliant auditorium seating area, inaccessible bathrooms, inaccessible athletic fields and other concerns.
- The existing entry sequence and security systems do not meet current school safety and security expectations.
- DPHS now offers four vocational technical education programs and life skills classes but does not have space or resources to support the curriculum and instruction of the four vocational programs, Early Education, Environmental Studies, Criminal Justice, and Marketing.
- While the single story cafeteria wing is feasible to renovate, the challenges of the classroom wing and gymnasium were so significant relative to the quality of the existing building that it is in the community’s best interest to demolish these areas and build new, renovating only the cafeteria/auditorium wing.