City Officials Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony for new MLK Jr. Elementary School & Putnam Avenue Upper School


MLK Groundbreaking 6-17-13

MLK Groundbreaking Group shot
Cambridge City and School Officials, along with project team at Groundbreaking Ceremony for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary and Putnam Avenue Upper School.


The City of Cambridge will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School & Putnam Avenue Upper School Monday, June 17, at 12 p.m., 100 Putnam Ave. (rear), Cambridge.  

Project Background
In July 2012, the city’s project architect, Perkins Eastman, presented City officials with its Feasibility Study for the new Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Construction Project. Three options were considered and the final decision was to replace the existing structure with a new energy efficient NET ZERO building design.  During the design phases, the occupants participated in the building programming, which included education of what a NET ZERO design consists of, and why their actions when using the building will help control the energy consumption. This design is scheduled to be completed for bid in early Fall 2013.

The Construction Manager at Risk, the Rich-Caulfield Venture, began abatement of hazardous materials and demolition in April 2013. These activities should be completed by the end of October 2013. The construction start date for the foundations, steel and geothermal wells is anticipated for early Fall 2013. The final construction phase shall begin following final project bids due in December 2013 and occupancy is scheduled for September 2015. The present total project costs approved by the City Council in September 2012 was $84,550,000. Design features of the 187,000 square foot building and indoor parking garage include:

  • Geothermal Wells which extract heat from the ground thus helping keep energy costs low;
  • Daylight Harvesting which includes glass and other design elements that enable natural light to pass through the building;
  • Automatic Lighting Dimmer System which helps conserve energy use;
  • Gray Water Storage System which helps conserve water use;
  • 30 kBtu/sf/year which describes the building’s energy use and efficiency performance.   The average K-12 school in America has an efficiency rating of 169 kBtu/sf/year.  This design goal of 30 kBtu/sf/year means the new school will be 82% more efficient than the average American school.

The school will contain all new facilities and equipment for its classrooms, library, auditorium, gymnasium, community rooms, new outdoor play space and improved parking. For project updates, visit the Martin Luther King Construction Project Webpage,

Link to Invitation and Draft Image.

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Richard C. Rossi
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Lisa C. Peterson
Deputy City Manager