Washington Elementary School
Location: West Haven, Connecticut
Area: 60,993 SF
Design: In Progress
This new school replaces the existing Washington Elementary School. The new school design is arranged around a courtyard with a two-story academic wing along Brown Street and a main entrance façade with secure entry fronting on Washington Avenue, the new building will be 60,993 SF in size at a project cost of $40M. The original school structure was constructed in 1909, with a large addition dating to the late 1980s extending across the tight site. This neighborhood school, one of the oldest in West Haven’s Public School District, was approaching the end of its useful life, has compromised ADA accessibility and numerous other issues. The three phases of this consists of 1) Early demolition of the existing building, 2) Construction of the new building, and 3) Interior design, technology and playgrounds.
The proposed building design has a two-story academic wing and the single story construction on the corners provide an open feel and harmonizes with the neighborhood. The new main entrance on the west-side of the building is secure with its adjacency to the administrative suite. The central exterior courtyard is encircled by the Gymnasium, the Cafetorium and the Media Center all with views into this exterior space. The southern end of the building contains the Kindergarten and Pre-K with natural light throughout and easy access to a separate drop-off area. The north side two-story structure is served by a central corridor, two stairwells and an elevator and contains the classrooms for grades 1-4, which are similar in shape and size for maximum flexibility and all have access to natural light. Resource rooms are situated throughout the building convenient to each grade level. All systems will be energy efficient with the latest technology as sustainability is a priority. The new site design addresses vehicular congestion issues and by setting the school from Washington Avenue for access and parking. The compact 4 acre site serves a coastal neighborhood with a large population of walkers. The new building will be located on the north end of the site to avoid wetlands with its lowest floor level several feet above the 500-year flood elevation.