FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — By 2021, students attending BMC Durfee High School in Fall River will be walking the halls of a brand new, state-of-the-art building.
Fall River Superintendent Dr. Matthew Malone tells Eyewitness News construction on the new high school is both on-time and on-budget.
Malone said the original high school was built back in 1978 and has not been renovated or improved since.
“I am very excited, not only because I’m proud to be the superintendent of this school system, but also because this is a testament to the goodwill of the people of Fall River,” Malone said.
Malone said the new, three-story building will house more than 2,000 students. The existing Athletic Field House is also being fully renovated.
The new school will also feature brand new technology, including touch screens, interchangeable and movable rooms and devices for each student.
Malone said the new building also pays tribute to Fall River and Durfee history.
Construction plans for the school building include incorporating Fall River’s pink granite and reviving the historical Durfee bells and telescope.
The new building will also house career and technical programs as well, including an early childhood center, a cosmetology department with a barbershop and hair salon, a culinary center with a restaurant, a performing arts facility, an engineering and design center and a TV production studio.
Malone said the building’s future atrium will be glass-encased — which in part will help heat the facility.
“We will have natural light in this building which the current high school doesn’t have,” Malone said.
Chief Operating Officer for Fall River Schools Kenneth Pacheco said the Massachusetts Building Authority paid for 66% of the $265 million project.
Pacheco said this allows the district to shift their focus completely to education — which he said is Fall River’s economic future.
The existing high school building will remain occupied during the construction of the new building and field house.
Once the new school is constructed, the academic portion of the school will be demolished and the existing Theater and Arts building wing will remain and be used as a Community Arts Building.
Those who wish to follow along with the construction and see a time-lapse video of the entire project can see it on the Construction Camera.