We want a pilot project to show our district how our aging schools can use innovative spaces. Fast.
Cranston Public Schools is a district in the state of Rhode Island that educates students from pre-K to the 12th grade. Eden Park Elementary School is located on a tight 2.3 acre site in the densely populated Auburn neighborhood in Cranston. The school was originally constructed in 1951 on a sloping hill, and had had no major renovations since then. In 2018 Cranston Public Schools commissioned our firm to do a district-wide master plan that set forward a vision to transform their aging building stock into modern, responsive learning environments. In preparation for a 2020 bond, Cranston wanted to establish a pathfinder project that would set the standard for their educational spaces going forward.
The design team identified the west wing of Eden Park Elementary School as the best location. The pathfinder project transformed the school’s entry in the central wing to be safe, welcoming and secure. The new space offers an interconnected array of different spatial types to support a variety of learning modalities. The schedule for the design and construction of this project was extremely fast-tracked. The entire project was designed and constructed in just nine months, with most of the construction taking place over the two months of summer. Because of this, unanticipated building conditions had to be dealt with fluidly and creatively.
The new space is designed to allow students and teachers the ability to flexibly shift between various modes of learning and encourages collaboration. Special attention was placed on furniture and materials. Now district parents, teachers and community members can clearly see the advantages of renovations and innovative spaces.