SLAM provided programming, planning, and design services for this new, five-story 150,000 SF career-focused intra-district magnet high school that provides a focused education in the technical areas of Engineering Technology, Computer Systems, Human Services, and Health Services. The School’s mission was to prepare students for entry-level positions working in computer and manufacturing fields, as Certified Nurses Aids, or as Certified Child Care Providers upon graduation. During the planning phase, the design team worked extensively with district supervisors, manufacturers, students and teachers to select and refine the specific vocational technologies that would make up the curriculum on opening day.
The city’s existing technical high school (Kaynor Technical High School, also designed by SLAM) could not accommodate all of Waterbury students interested in a high school vocational education – this was the impetus behind the creation of the Waterbury Career Academy.
A small site on a steep hill, further restricted by adjacent wetlands, led to a five-story solution, providing visibility to and from the community. The hilltop building with distinctive skyline silhouette has contrasting panoramic views of the city towards the west and rolling hills to the east. The topography was preserved to the greatest extent possible, incorporating existing rocks and boulders into the landscape design.
Walk through this building and look at the individual classrooms, the manufacturing facility, the HR facility. The technology in this school is unprecedented, it is an amazing facility and there’s been an amazing group of people involved in this school starting with the architect SLAM architecture.