Farmington River Regional
Elementary School, Otis, MA
Peter Turowski while with Margo Jones Architects
Completion: Summer 1998
New Construction: 34,000 SF
Size: 300 Students
Grades: Grades K-6
Construction Cost: $3.5 Million
The Farmington River Regional Elementary School, at 34,000 square feet, was designed to replace aging school buildings for the Towns of Otis and Sandisfield, MA.
The new school was constructed on a previously undeveloped site a short distance from the Otis Town Center and the existing school building. The site was donated to the Town, and although it offered sufficient acreage, it presented several challenges including irregular topography, embedded rock, and a wetland that bisected the site into a front and rear portion.
The design solution placed the building close to the street to avoid a major crossing of wetlands, with parking in a court in front of the building. A path from the west end of the school leads through the woods and across a pedestrian wetland crossing to playing fields in the rear portion of the site. The rear portion of the site offered a relatively flat topography which was suitable for development as playing fields for soccer/baseball.
The school was designed as a two story structure to minimize the footprint on the difficult site and was modeled after a Berkshire lodge, with an all encompassing roof from which individual dormers offered daylight. From the entrance, all the public spaces were accessible for community use, including the gym/auditorium, cafeteria, library, and administration. Classrooms were set to the west, away from the entrance and stacked in two stories.