Gilead Hill Elementary School, Additions and Renovations

Hebron, Connecticut

The original 53,700-square-foot elementary school needed more classroom and multipurpose space. The solution was two additions: a new kindergarten wing with six oversized classrooms (10,300 square feet) and an activity room (6,300 square feet). The circulation has been transformed from three individual wings into completed loops.

The kindergarten is organized into ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY640COST PER SQ FT$235.00FEATURED IN2002 Architectural Portfolio of rooms with a shared service core. The entries are identified with lighted display panels presenting a day and night theme. Finishes inside the rooms continue the theme, and each of the exterior entries has a unique identifying precast panel. Inside the adjacent courtyard, a circular compass pattern provides a sheltered play area. A sundial pole offers teachers an opportunity to explain the Earth’s rotation.

The original multipurpose room was used as a gymnasium, auditorium and cafeteria. Since the existing space has a kitchen and a stage, the new activity room is used primarily for physical education and special programs. The activity addition is a radial series of walls with glass-block infill, resulting in significant natural light. The walls continue the day and night theme. Outside the activity room, children can see the stars above in the form of a mobile hung under a skylight and the earth below represented in a floor pattern.