Cambridge celebrated the opening of a new public school complex over the weekend, and there’s a lot to take in. The 273,000-square-foot facility, which extends over four acres not far from Inman Square, combines educational and community services. It houses two schools — the King Open and Cambridge Street Upper School — a new city library branch, and offices for the city’s school department.
Amenities include a replacement community pool, two gymnasiums, five playgrounds, a bocce ball court, a 380-seat auditorium, and an underground parking garage. The $159 million campus is designed to be the state’s first school to produce zero net-carbon emissions. It harnesses sunlight through an array of 3,600 photovoltaic panels mounted on roofs and facades. The complex was designed by William Rawn Associates, Architects and Arrowstreet Architecture & Design.
The campus, which is nearly all funded by the city, is one of several new schools being built in the region. Neighboring Somerville has begun work on a new high school on the site of the existing school, and Waltham is in the planning stages for a new high school.