William Dean Technical High School
Holyoke, MA

“Although this project was on a tight budget and with an extremely difficult site to work with, D.R.A. completed the project on time and within the budget…DRA is without a doubt the most professional, accessible and caring group of individuals I have ever worked with. I want to thank you for a job well done.  I would highly recommend D.R.A. for the design and construction of any facility.”

Walter R. Welch
(former) Director
Dean Technical Vocational High School


Designed for  830 students with a core capacity for 1,200, the school’s programs consist of 14 vocational clusters and 4 special needs shops.

Nestled in the banks of the Connecticut River, the 18.2 acre site is bisected by Holyoke’s Main Street.  The  site’s dramatic slope towards the river, coupled with extensive ledge and a former landfill containing traces of methane gas, required an unconventional design solution. The upper and lower sites are connected by a pedestrian concourse containing a 400-seat cafetorium. This building element spans Holyoke’s Main Street and provides safe access for students between the main academic facility, gymnasium and athletic fields.  It has also become the City’s new southend gateway.

On grade access is essential to most of the school’s shop facilities. The cascading building form adapted for the site topography, locates shops on four levels, all of which have convenient individual service access.


New Construction
212,000 SF New

Vocational Programs:

Metal Fabrication
Machine Shop
Graphic Arts
Culinary Arts

To learn more about this project, services provided, and our Career and Technical Education practice, please email us:


Massachusetts Studio
235 Bear Hill Road, Fourth Floor
Waltham, MA 02451
T. 617.964.1700
F. 617.964.1701

Connecticut Studio
225 Oakland Road, Studio 205
South Windsor, CT 06074
T. 860.644.8300
F. 860.644.8301


Portfolio - DRA Architects