West Middle School
Hartford, CT
 

West School was constructed in 1930, with a portion dating back to 1894. Until the commencement of this project, this preK-8 school had never received an overall renovation. All building systems were at the end of their functional lifecycles, and the facility needed energy conservation and handicapped accessibility measures.

 

Originally a complex of three historic buildings, the school comprised the 1894 Annex, the 1909 Gymnasium and the 1930 Main Building.

 

Exterior renovations were extensive and required several construction types and details. The project fully restored the cupola on the Georgian 1930-building, including custom-turned replications of missing elements. The 1894 Romanesque Annex required extensive brownstone restoration, and the 1909 Victorian gymnasium building required excavation of a lower-level floor slab with related foundation underpinning to accommodate a new cafeteria.

 

All interiors were completely renovated with new mechanical systems, windows, finishes and furniture.

 

The project also created a new, 70,000-SF, four-story academic wing that connects the three historic buildings at multiple floors. The site was quite constrained. To provide adequate outdoor recess space, the team created an artificial-turf rooftop play area over the addition. For the first time in nearly 90 years, West School has a dedicated play area that is not asphalt.

 

The addition includes classrooms and a medical suite for student healthcare, a dental examination room and mental health services space.

 

Another unique element is the inclusion of a public library, which also functions as the school’s library, within the building. The Mark Twain library branch has its own entrance and is open to the public during and after school hours.

 

West Middle has grown to 105,000 square feet and enrolls 750 PreK-8th grade students.

 

Statistics:

  • Cost:  $46.5 million

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