Because of overcrowding, the town of Winthrop decided to construct two new elementary schools. One of these was built on the site of former Army base Fort Banks, overlooking Belle Isle Marsh and bordered by conservation land. The site included playfields, which the town did not want to eliminate. The town had to address significant environmental and permitting issues CAPACITY650COST PER SQ FT$136.50FEATURED IN2002 Architectural Portfolio wetlands, coastal banks, hazardous soils from the decommissioned Army base and open space. Site planning could not interfere with a 24-inch main serving the Deer Island wastewater-treatment plant.
Neighborhood residents expressed a desire for community use of the new school. The cafeteria provides lunches for seniors from adjoining residential areas, and community recreational use is available at the athletic, multipurpose and computer facilities. These spaces are zoned for security and have separate entrances.
Each classroom features a teacher’s alcove that complements the school’s team-teaching approach by providing a more private workspace and allowing for one-on-one interaction during classes. Space behind sliding whiteboards on the teaching wall houses the television and addresses storage needs.