At its May meeting, the Arlington Commission for Arts & Culture (ACAC) confirmed its unanimous support for the current Arlington High School (AHS) rebuild design. We regarded it as vital for Arlington, not only to maintain and improve the high-quality education that our town values.
Beyond the safety, accessibility, pedagogical and practical benefits, ACAC also appreciates how the current AHS design greatly expands the creative, artistic and cultural capacity of our community, and in turn enriches the cultural corridor, raises the quality of life in town, and strengthens tourism and our business communities.
SMART DESIGN, EXPANDED CAPACITY, WITH COMMUNITY INPUT
Following one detailed presentation by the Building Committee, ACAC members were impressed to see that thoughtful consideration been given to:
- The new, fully accessible theater with multiple entrance-ways that can serve to expand the town’s capacity for performing arts
- Updated, clean, safe facilities for music instruction and rehearsal
- A multifunction outdoor amphitheater that further contributes to open spaces available for performances, exhibitions, and discussions
- Thoughtful preservation of a significant portion of the Mass Avenue lawn, a green gathering space where school and public art can be seen, against the backdrop of a vibrant new theater and STEAM wings
- Gallery wall space to display student work in the “Spine,” transforming a potentially dark, oppressive central corridor into a creative and inspirational environment
- A modern, safe, and accessible STEAM facility with well-outfitted makerspace providing the kind of hands-on, experiential and technologically up-to-date basis appropriate to a 21st century learning
And these are only a few of the many important improvements to learning, creative development and community engagement that will benefit our community in the AHS rebuild. ACAC supports a thoughtful AHS design that we believe will have long-term value for our town.
THE GATEWAY TO THE CULTURAL DISTRICT
It is well documented that arts and culture – like a strong educational system — play important roles in local economic health and development. The Mass Cultural Council’s Cultural District designation has been a catalyst for economic development and a boon for neighborhoods and businesses across the Commonwealth, and our town is lucky to be among the most recent designees. We’ve seen a surge of cultural activity, business development and new families moving in all along our cultural corridor, from Capitol Square to the Center and beyond.
AHS stands at the gateway to the Arlington Cultural District, and it is inextricably part of the cultural fabric of our community. Award-winning bands and visual artists, exciting dramas and musicals, inventive digital creators — our school nurtures creative thinkers, makers and educators necessary to today’s society. The faculty and students have developed arts programs that are a pride of Arlington, and with the rebuild will continue to excel and grow.