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. The City of Waterbury takes pride in its history as the “Brass City” though most of its factories are now gone. The placement of a new school dedicated to career-oriented education within a dense working-class neighborhood represents the aspirations of the community for their rising generations.
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.