Flansburgh Associates, Inc.
77 North Washington St., Boston, MA 02114
Total Square Feet: 138,381
Construction Period: July 1998 to Aug 1999
General Contractor: R.W. Granger & Son, Inc. - 415 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury, MA 01545
Structural Engineer: Engineers Design Group Inc. - 48 Inman St., Cambridge, MA 02139
Electrical & Mechanical Engineer: TMP Consulting Engineers Inc. - 52 Temple Place, Boston, MA 02111
Landscape Architect: Geller Associates, Inc. - 77 North Washington St., Boston, MA 02114
Cost Estimator: CostPro, Inc. - 124 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge, MA 02138
This 121,600-square-foot math, science and technology magnet school serves 850 students in grades K-8. The design is a simple L-shaped plan accommodating an elementary school (K-4) and a middle school (5-8) in two separate three-story, academic wings. Each school has its own administration and designated entryway. Centrally located at the junction of the two classroom wings is a core block housing both administration offices and shared facilities including a cafeteria, a full-size gymnasium and a 240-seat auditorium. These common resources are fully air-conditioned and zoned for after-hours community use. The core block also features a three-story, glazed atrium/commons that unifies the composition and provides a light-filled venue for showcasing students science and art projects. The consolidation of two schools under one roof and the use of shared facilities allow both schools to enjoy high-quality resources that neither could afford independently.
The plan is straightforward, logical and easy for young students to navigate. The elementary school wing houses three kindergarten classrooms on the first level (providing the youngest students with convenient access to an outdoor tot lot), 16 general classrooms for grades 1-4 and a 24-seat computer lab. Shared facilities housed in this wing include eight SPED and Bilingual/ESL classrooms and the Media Center/Library. Students from both schools can access these shared resources via the atrium/commons. The K-4 drop-off and entry are located away from street traffic on the more private interior side of the building, within view of the K-4 administration offices.
The middle school wing accommodates 12 general classrooms; four Science Learning Labs with adjoining science prep rooms; designated Health and Foreign/World Languages classrooms; a 24-seat computer lab; and a third-floor art room featuring an expansive skylight. The middle school entry and drop-off are located on the exterior side of the core block, adjacent to the (5-8) administration offices and facing the streetscape. To maximize natural light and views, classrooms within both school wings are located on opposite sides of double-loaded corridors. The incorporation of skylights, interior window walls and glazed stairwells at the end of each corridor, also increases natural daylight.
The plan meets the specific requirements of a magnet school curriculum which focuses on teaching math, science and computer skills. The Massachusetts Science Frameworks was incorporated into the design of the classrooms, the two Computer Labs and four fully-equipped Science Learning Labs. A fiber-optic backbone provides schoolwide access to the Internet; to specialized science and math software; and to the latest in voice, video, and multi-media technology. The design also meets the client's goal of extending instruction beyond interior classrooms. A two-story pediment arch designates the K-4 entry and also serves as a gateway between the atrium/commons and a variety of outdoor spaces for social gathering, recreation and science field experiences. The outstretched "arms" of the L-shaped building embrace a central courtyard plaza featuring scatwalls, decorative lighting, and access to the tot lot and athletic fields.
The overriding design challenge was fitting a large school on a small, odd shaped, triangular lot within a dense neighborhood of free-standing homes. These spatial constraints, and the community's desire to preserve what had formerly been a public park, were the main design determinants. The design solution locates the school on the perimeter of the northeast corner of the site, leaving enough park land for the development of a new softball diamond with a large rectangular playfield overlay. Site revitalization also included extensive new plantings, pavement upgrades and a parking lot.
The design reflects the traditional aesthetic of the surrounding neighborhood. Three-story bays, pitched roofs, and the incorporation of brick-patterned house silhouettes blend with the residential architecture bordering the site, while also reducing the building's apparent mass. The bays project from masonry walls articulated with a large-scale, 45 degree, diamond brick pattern. This same detailing is repeated in all the building elevations and in the brick pattern of the entrance plaza.
DIV 04: Brick: Endicott Clay; CMU: SpectraGlaze®.
DIV 07: Preformed Metal Panels: Drexmet Metal Roofing; PVC Flashing Membrane: Sarnafil; Lead-Coated Copper: Revere Copper Products; Cavity Wall Copper Flashing: AFCO Products, Inc.; Skylights: WASCO Skylight Products.
DIV 08: Glazed Aluminum Curtainwall: EFCO Corporation; Spandrell Glass: HGP.
DIV 09: VCT: Mannington; Vinyl Base: Johnsonite; Tile: Fiandre; Athletic Flooring: Connor Sports Flooring; Gypsum Board: United States Gypsum; Metal Studs: Marino Ware; Ceramic Tile: Dal-Tile; Acoustical Panels:
DIV 14: Elevators: Otis.