Westfield Model Elementary School
Margo Jones Architects, Turowski2 Architecture, Dodson and Flinker
The Westfield Elementary School, at 100,000 square feet, was adapted from the prototype Williamstown Elementary School for the City of Westfield to combine 2 school populations into a single K-5 campus. Larger than the original Williamstown School by approximately 12,000 square feet, the new school is designed as a school within a school, maintaining 2 separate principals to serve the diverse and multi-lingual population of students in this community.
The facade of the new school, located in the heart of an existing neighborhood within walking distance to the City Center, was designed with masonry detailing matching the existing Romanesque building on the site which was removed to accommodate the new structure. The historic arch from the existing building was salvaged and reconstructed on site as a gateway to the school grounds.
The building is concrete masonry bearing construction with brick veneer. The roof and floor structures are steel framed. The roof is low slung to reduce the overall height in relation to its residential neighbors but articulated with dormers which are scaled to the size of the neighboring homes and designed to bring a good deal of natural daylight into the classrooms.
Like the Williamstown prototype, the building is organized with a central spine which houses all the common areas - administration, library, computer labs, multi-purpose room, gym, and cafeteria. However, to meet requirements of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Special Needs spaces are disbursed throughout the school. Classrooms are organized by grade in pods along this spine, in clusters and joined by small group flex space. Each classroom has views to a courtyard or school grounds. The Westfield Model School was the first implementation of the Williamstown Elementary School under MSBAs Model program.