WAKEFIELD — The Permanent Building Committee voted unanimously last night to approve the Preliminary Design Program for the Wakefield Memorial High School building project and authorized its submission to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).

The Preliminary Design Program is the first reporting stage during the Feasibility Study phase where the school district and its team collaborate with the MSBA to document their educational program, generate an initial space summary, document existing conditions, establish design parameters, develop and evaluate alternatives and recommend the most cost effective and educationally appropriate alternatives to the MSBA for further evaluation.

Shane Nolan from Owner’s Project Manager LeftField, said that he would electronically submit the more than 2,000 page document to the MSBA today and follow up with hard copies.

The preliminary design program documents virtually every phase of the process since Dec. 16, 2020, when the MSBA invited the town of Wakefield to partner with the MSBA in conducting a Feasibility Study for the Wakefield Memorial High School.

By partnering with the MSBA, the town stands to be reimbursed by the state for approximately 50 percent of eligible construction costs.

The The Preliminary Design Program summarizes and documents the findings of the Feasibility Study and includes a detailed description of the Wakefield Memorial High School Educational Program, an initial space summary, evaluation of existing conditions and deficiencies, site development requirements, multiple construction alternatives for a grade 9-12 high school and a summary of local actions and approvals to date related to the high school project.

The Preliminary Design Program includes the 12 final design alternatives that were presented and discussed at the Permanent Building Committee’s Jan. 13 meeting.

In addition, the document includes handouts, notes and recordings from the four “educational visioning” sessions held in October and November, in which a group of approximately 38 participants that included Wakefield Public Schools leadership, as well as WMHS administrators, teachers, parents and community partners participated in four virtual workshops aimed at capturing their high-level thinking about WMHS’s current and future educational goals and priorities.

Prior to the vote on the Preliminary Design Program, the committee entertained public participation. Several residents, including Kristina Encarnacao and Wakefield Track & Field Boosters president Michelle Minasian urged inclusion of a new field house large enough to hold an indoor track facility.

Committee member Chip Tarbell offered assurances that the Preliminary Design Program submission to MSBA included a plan with such a field house. He indicated that there was a possibility of pushback from the MSBA, but for now the requested field house was included among the submitted designs.

Also during public participation a speaker urged the committee to consider a design that would include the maximum solar array.